Warrnambool markets are stepping up to help raise funds for local projects, supported by stall-holders showcasing hand-made local products, or fresh local produce.
Port Fairy’s Ross Morey is president of Standing Tall in Warrnambool Inc and said donations help to keep the program running.
“The Made By Me Market support is fantastic,”said Mr Ross.
“A lot of the activities our students undertake are hands on, so the markets are a natural link where students can see actual outcomes of the program.”
The mentor program has been running for nearly four years in Warrnambool and helps to support young people who might be in need of a little support.
“The Standing Tall in Warrnambool program aims to help young people be the best they can be,” Mr Ross said.
Based on a model started in Hamilton by Jeanette Pritchard, the STiW program provides mentor support for young people by trained, volunteer mentors.
“Without the volunteers there would be no program, they are everything,” Mr Morey said.
Kelly Giblin of Warrnambool recently joined STiW as a mentor volunteer and says there is a misconception that young people needing support are only from broken homes.
“There are wide range of worries confronting a lot of young people,” said Ms Giblin
“I remember what it was like to be a teenager,”
“I just think it is important to have someone to talk to, some adult support.”
It’s often only an hour of your time, but your there, you’re helping.”
Lana Campbell, organiser of Warrnambool’s Made By Me Market said Standing Tall in Warrnambool Inc was a non-profit organisation and the type of group the market supports.
“Funds are raised through gold coin entry on the day, a raffle of donated items and stall holder fees after costs,” said Lana.
“We have had some very generous anonymous donations as well.”
The first Made-By Me Market was only meant to be a one-off, to help raise funds for a garden project in Cambodia but was so successful customers asked for more.
“The stall holders wanted to return, and customers were asking when the next one would be on” said Ms Campbell.
“This is the 5th market; we have supported Giving Gardens Cambodia, Street Swags, Warrnambool Coastcare-Landcare and Brophy’s YUMCHA group.”
Stall-holder Ann Hegarty mentors in the Standing Tall in Warrnambool school-based program and says the project can do with the financial support.
“It’s a great program that really helps make a difference,” Ms Hegarty said.
“Mentors are needed because young people have all sorts of situations where they just need a bit of support in life, and need an adult they can rely on, someone they can trust.”
Warrnambool’s Rachael Arden of the Warrnambool District Market says every Market Day is a fundraising day.
Rachael originally founded the Warrnambool District Market as a one-woman initiative to sell her crepe products, but soon found the market could play a larger role by acting as a contributor to community projects.
“I wondered why there was only one Warrnambool market, supporting only one charity,” said Rachael.
Warrnambool District Market is now home to about 20 permanent stall-holders on average, though 45 can be on site in busier months, and over a dozen offer products created and made in Warrnambool or fresh, locally grown produce.
Warrnambool District Market stall-holders banded together to choose two local projects to support – the Leila Rose Foundation and Peter’s Project.
“We chose these two projects because they are close to home and affect local families and the local community. We wanted to give something back to community.”
Funds are raised from stall-holder site fees and the Red Cross sets up once a month without fee to sell handmade gifts to raise funds for the recognized charity.
Rachel has found the Market also serves as a nursery for small business.
“Some of our stall-holders now are stocking local business here and in Port Fairy as their products become known and more sought after.”
Markets evolve along with the community said Ms Arden and people are seeking fresh, local produce or products made locally in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way.
The Made By Me Market fundraiser for Standing Tall in Warrnambool Inc will be held on Saturday 26th April 2014 at 50 Viaduct Road, Warrnambool, in the downstairs Pavilion at the Warrnambool Breakwater between 9am – 3pm and entry is by gold coin donation.
Warrnambool District Market’s next fundraising market will be on the 27th April 2014 at the Swan Reserve (Princes Highway) Warrnambool, Vic.