Orwil Street Community House’s Georgina Portelli has been the co-ordinator for 16 years, yet her roots in the house date back many years. Georgina tirelessly puts together term programs, interviews new facilitators, looks out for new group activity themes, and ultimately welcomes all who stop by along with her team of 30 volunteers — some of whom have been there for 15 years.
“Everyone’s welcome at the front door from any walk of life,” said Georgina. “There’s always a friendly face to welcome you inside and offer a coffee or tea before a group meeting or a free class. You can join us in the lounge room at any time, even if you don’t have an event to attend. Just come and have a chat. We believe it’s great for anxiety and stress to just have a relaxed chat with a welcoming volunteer.”
There are three councillors on board, five reiki practitioners and a psychologist. The groups cater for women, men, and kids, and you can join a support group or activity group via a donation. Classes vary every term but always have a balance of options on offer for the community, including meditation, reiki, chair yoga, IT and mindfulness classes — it’s all here and suggestions are always taken on board.
It’s also somewhere community groups can meet or even hire a room on a regular basis. You can help provide essentials such as coffee, tea and toilet paper by offering $5 when you first attend a program or use a service at the house. An annual $5 contribution gives you a laminated Friends of Orwil Street Community House card. Of course, donations are welcome at any time.
“We try to keep very positive and encourage you to leave your troubles outside. It’s a time to enjoy the peace and quiet and release the stress and tension,” said Georgina.
The Term 1, 2019 program is now available either through the website — orwilst.org.au — or by contacting Orwil Street Community House.