Image: Wandoo Reintegration Officer Gavin Kerr with residents.
Unique artwork, potted plants and sweet treats were on offer at Wandoo Reintegration Facility’s Gala Day on Friday 17 February, with all proceeds going to mental health organisation beyondblue.
Wandoo’s residents sold baked goods, preserves and a wide variety of plants to invited stakeholders and guests. The day was highlighted by an art auction, featuring 17 works created by inmates.
Wandoo Deputy Director John Tinline told the Melville Times the event was inspired by Reintegration Officer Gavin Kerr, who raised $8,000 for beyondblue in 2016.
“Last year a member of our staff who has had struggles with his mental health decided to challenge himself and complete a 100km single-handed marathon on a rowing machine,” Mr Tinline told the outlet.
“We were so impressed and proud we decided to try to assist his cause by running an event at the facility.”
A number of residents were keen to get involved in the event.
“We supplied the materials and some of the guys volunteered to paint artworks to auction,” Mr Tinline told the outlet.
“We’ve also had a handful of residents who worked flat out in the kitchen for the week or so before the event and some others who worked with the horticulture instructor to grow and pot seedlings.”
Local businesses and partner organisations including Red Cross, Mission Australia and Save the Children donated items for the raffle.
Contract Director Wendy Sinclair-Gieben said she was thrilled with the generosity of all those involved in preparing and donating items for sale.
“The work beyondblue does to help people struggling with mental health is so welcome and so vital and I was delighted with the way the whole facility at Wandoo embraced the opportunity to support the charity,” she said.
“Staff and prisoners alike worked really hard to make this a success.”
The Gala Day raised $4,000 for beyondblue. For more information on beyondblue, please visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
The Gala Day event was featured in the Melville Times: Wandoo Reintegration Facility raises money for beyondblue.