David Helmers, the coordinator of a CatholicCare Hunter-Manning project to help the unemployed, has won the Catholic Social Services' Perkins Award for Excellence in Individual Service.
The award, which recognises his outstanding commitment to service and pays tribute to those working with the disadvantaged, was presented at CSSA's National Conference in Canberra. It was one of only three awards presented on the evening, said CatholicCare in a statement.
Helmers leads the CatholicCare Hunter-Manning's Lake Macquarie Shed Project, which provides an opportunity and communal space for men to gather from all backgrounds and share their skills, make new friends, network and avail themselves of health information programs, the organisation said.
The project also implements strategies to assist unemployed youth, mature age unemployed, retirees, young offenders and early school leavers by utilising the skills of older people who provide mentoring opportunities which enhance participants' skills.
"David's creativity, passion and work efforts have taken the project from a locally based initiative with the Lake Mac Shed Project to one which now encompasses 18 member sheds in the Hunter Valley as well as a national peak body which represents more than 30,000 members within over 390 sheds Australia wide," said CatholicCare's Manager of Community Development Liz MacDonald.
"David is also the Chief Executive Officer of the national peak body, the Australian Men's Shed Association (AMSA) and he has an amazing capacity to engage both shed volunteers and members, the business community, government agencies and politicians to elevate the profile and health benefits the Shed provides our community with."
Newcastle employee wins The Perkins Award for Excellence in Service - Individual (CatholicCare)