Support service closes its doors after 17 years

Time's up: Gardening volunteers Peter Manwaring and Bruce Raymond working on a property in Mandurah. Photo: Supplied.
Time's up: Gardening volunteers Peter Manwaring and Bruce Raymond working on a property in Mandurah. Photo: Supplied.

A Mandurah-based service that has been supporting seniors with home and gardening jobs for the past 17 years is closing its doors due to a lack of volunteers. 

Dwindling numbers of community members prepared to lend a helping hand will see an end to Supporting Our Seniors and Disabled (SOS) at the end of 2018. 

The independent organisation was started through the WA Police’s neighbourhood watch initiative. 

The idea was that elderly community members wanting to remain in their own homes could, with gardening and maintenance support services. 

Crews are sent as far as Pinjarra in the east, Singleton in the north and Port Bouvard in the south. 

SOS general manager Suzanne McLarty said meeting client needs had becoming tougher every-year. 

Ms McLarty has been apart of the organisation and said it was devastating the service wouldn’t be available the regions seniors. 

She said SOS had always been financially stable but volunteer numbers had always been a concern.

The funding leftover from the organisation’s closure will be directed to another local charity in town. 

Ms McLarty said the organisation had been the Peel region’s best kept secret and provided a valuable asset to the community.

SOS is also a Work for the Dole host organisation, meaning prior to finding work job seekers can help the Mandurah team to acquire their financial assistance from the government. 

Ms McLarty said those Work for the Dole participants who enjoyed their work at SOS would be past onto a similar service in the region.