26 April 2024

Greenacres rolls out the red carpet for local heroes

| Zoe Cartwright
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Senior Constable Jovana Ljubojevic, Senior Constable Kate Gandy and Senior Constable Daniel Johnson with Michelle Weidner at Greenacres for the Local Heroes day. Photo: Zoe Cartwright.

Greenacres participants welcomed some special guests this week.

The disability service hosted members of the NSW Police at its head office in Wollongong as part of Greenacres’ ‘Local Heroes’ initiative.

Shaun Ferguson, vocational leisure and skills coordinator, said the event had a multitude of benefits for everyone involved.

“It’s a chance for us to celebrate the great job the police do in the community, and promote healthy relationships,” he said.

“We get to talk to the police in a comfortable environment and build that rapport.

“Some of our participants at Greenacres see the police during times of crisis – as many of us do – so events like this give them the chance to see the police as everyday people.

“They love seeing the sirens and interacting with the officers in uniform, and hopefully when they’re out in the community this gives them the confidence to say hi.”

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In appreciation, Greenacres gave a gift to the Wollongong Police Force officers, symbolising the profound gratitude shared by staff and participants alike for their continuous service.

As well as celebrating the critical role of community protectors, the initiative encourages participants to confidently seek assistance when needed, enhancing their sense of safety and wellbeing.

Michelle Weidner particularly enjoyed the visit, as her niece is a police officer.

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“I’m 53 and I’ve worked at Greenacres for a very long time in packaging,” she said.

“The staff are nice and all of us are saying thankyou to the police for supporting us, protecting us and looking after us.

“Today we’re finding out about what the police do in their jobs and how they do it.

“I think the police officers must find their jobs hard and hectic and I want to say thankyou to them for making us feel safe.”

Previous Local Heroes events have seen the participation of NSW Ambulance, NSW Fire and Rescue, and the State Emergency Service.

Greenacres aims to foster connections between its participants and all emergency services.

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