Story and photos by Bev Jordan

Every morning 600 vulnerable people receive a welcomed phone call from a volunteer with the Red Cross Telecross Service.

It is one of many services supported by Castle Hill Red Cross members.

Since October 1989 Castle Hill members have raised $1.05million for Red Cross programs.

This financial year it was close to $28,000 through stalls, raffles and Christmas merchandise sales.

At the AGM on August 10, Judy Harper, manager of Red Cross Central Region, thanked members saying: “Your funds support a lot of our programs.”

She said 600 people in Sydney were called every morning by Telecross volunteers checking on vulnerable residents living on their own.

At the moment there are 13 breakfast clubs and school community gardens being supported by Red Cross donations which have also assisted 63 young people through the juvenile justice program who are now working or continuing their education.

A program working with men on remand at the John Maroney Centre at Windsor, has supported 250 men since November last year with 100 per cent success.

“We don’t even scratch the surface off what is needed,” she said.

“Red Cross would be nowhere without our volunteers. Often Red Cross is the last port of call. “

Special guests at the AGM included Patron Warren Glenny and Castle Hill MP Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and Disability Services and volunteering.

Mr Williams thanked the Red Cross for all the work it was doing in drought affected areas.

Nine branch members were presented with long service awards:

Marilyn Tobin for 30 years, Maureen Cole, Bobby Redman, Elizabeth Clare and Sandra Sheehan for 20 years and Nikki Blatantly, Tim Fenton, Lorraine Williams and Cylene Whitley For 10 years.

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