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03

Jun
2015

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In Case Studies
Uncategorized

By andrea

Anglicare NT: The heart of sustainable services in Alice Springs

On 03, Jun 2015 | No Comments | In Case Studies, Uncategorized | By andrea

We visited the awesome team at Anglicare NT in Alice Springs last month to find out why they’ve embraced sustainability in their HACC and transitional housing services. We also got their practical tips on how they use energy and fuel efficiently in such a unique community and climate zone.

Anglicare NT in Alice Springs offers a range of programs including housing and homelessness services and aged care. Programs at the Bloomfield Street Site include Tenancy Sustainability and Transitional Housing Programs, as well as Home and Community Care (HACC) which supports elderly people with limited resources. In addition, Anglicare NT’s HACC program provides meals on wheels for 120 elderly people in the Alice Springs community. We had a chat with a couple of staff about about how they approach sustainability in their organization…

Q. Why do you think sustainability is important for community services?

Leigh Woolcock, Senior Program Manager Housing Support Services: “Sustainability is all about social justice. We are working with people who are experiencing chronic poverty, and through sustainability we can help people to maximize resources in their own lives.

A lot of our clients have not lived in urban dwellings before, and so we teach them the basics of how to take care of a house, the risks and dangers of electricity and how to use it efficiently. We teach them health and hygiene and how to use a gas stove. We have built a small edible garden which also contains some bush medicine plants, and teach clients to grow veggies. We also run life skills classes which often involve cooking where we discuss healthy and sustainable living. Anglicare also provides a Money Matters program to help people control their costs, so efficiency and sustainability is very much integrated into the services we’re delivering.”

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Q What are some practical ways of saving energy in this facility?

Jenny Holme is regarded as the ‘go-to’ person for the team, and leads a lot of the sustainability initiatives in the office. “I’m always the last one to leave so I make sure the curtains are closed, lights are off and the urn and microwave are switched off at the wall. For me, its not just about saving money in our organization. It’s about helping our clients because they are low income earners. If I save money for our organization I’m saving money for extra resources for our clients. We can buy newer computers, or more comfortable chairs.”

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“It gets pretty cold here in Winter, and so we teach people to block off ceiling vents in winter to stop warm air escaping. We encourage staff and clients to turn things off at the wall. In our money matters program we encourage clients to help keep their power costs under control by choosing efficient fridge or washing machine models.

“We’re also really conscious of waste, and we give paper from the shredder to clients or staff so they can use it as mulch. Our climate is really dry so it’s a great way of keeping gardens healthy. We’ve also built an edible garden to teach our clients how to grow their own food. They love it, especially when they get to pick lettuce leaves and use it in our cooking class.
 
:”If I save money for our organization I’m saving money for extra resources for our clients. We can buy newer computers, or more comfortable chairs.”

“We also take an efficient approach with our fleet management. We transport people and deliver services throughout the Alice Springs region, and we coordinate our appointments and pickups so that we’re not using lots of cars and wasting petrol. Instead of taking 3 cars out to pick up people, we’ll schedule them so that we can send the 7 seater van to pick up people in one trip.

“We also bundle activities together in the one area so that we can use our fleet better and transport people all at once. In our HACC program, we have 30 staff and volunteers assisting 120 people with meals on wheels. We always make sure that meal deliveries are scheduled so that they’re close together in the one trip. This saves time for our volunteers, it saves fuel, it cuts our costs and reduces our emissions. It’s win-win.

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