Tomago Aluminium continues to support Hunter-based charities

Tomago Aluminium continues to support Hunter-based charities

With COVID-19, Tomago Aluminium’s workforce has been committed more than ever to continuing its vital fundraising program, which aims to support Hunter-based charities.

An employee initiative that has been active for more than 30 years, the Tomago Workplace Giving Fund has raised more than two million dollars for local charities and is not slowing down, pandemic or otherwise.

The Fund’s most recent recipients are Soul Café, Carrie’s Place, Got Your back Sista and headspace Newcastle, each receiving over $10,000.

This was a quarter-share of the total $42,000 raised by Tomago Aluminium’s workforce and was matched dollar-for-dollar by its management.

Tomago Aluminium’s Communications Advisor, Katie Burns, said that despite having to change the traditional format of their fundraising, they are proud of what they were able to accomplish.

“Traditionally we have a morning tea onsite and invite charity representatives and our employees to attend, but because of the necessary COVID-19 precautions we had two morning tea presentations a week apart and, because of social distancing, only had a small group of people at each one,” she said.

“While we were unable to encourage people to gather, we were able to give the money to the groups who need it and that was the most important thing for us.”

Thanking the Tomago Workplace Giving Fund for its donation, Got Your Back Sista Founder and Chief Executive, Melissa Histon, said their small, self-funded organisation relies on fundraising, grants and community generosity to help women and children escape domestic violence and restart their lives.

“The funds donated by Tomago will be able to provide furniture and household items such as beds, white goods and linen to women who have fled a violent home and are moving into their new homes, safe from violence,” she said.

Soul Café, a community-funded charity, was also among the local charities supported by the Fund.

They are dedicated to providing more than 40,000 meals annually to vulnerable people in Newcastle and also helps with a broad range of support services including laundry, mental health, medical services, Centrelink contact, housing and legal support.

Carrie’s Place Specialist Domestic Violence Program Manager, Karen McKenzie, said Tomago’s donation will provide the ongoing support they need to provide a more functional space to provide their services.

“Tomago’s substantial donation will help create a functional and welcoming community space at its East Maitland headquarters, so those using it can be comfortable and we can freely utilise resources.”

Accepting Tomago Workplace Giving Fund’s $10,500 donation, headspace Newcastle’s Byron Williams said the group relies on community support to deliver quality programs and projects to young people in Newcastle and its surrounding areas.

“The generous support of Tomago will allow us to connect with and support young people who may be struggling during this pandemic,” Byron said.

This year’s presentations coincided with a name change for Tomago Aluminium’s charity program from the Out-of-Pay Donation Scheme to the Tomago Workplace Giving Fund.

Australian Workers’ Union Site delegate, Wayne Pringle, said the name change was the only change and was done to stimulate, rather than stymie, employee support.

“Tomago Aluminium’s management and employees take great pride in giving back to the community by supporting worthwhile causes and through the Tomago Workplace Giving Fund we have the opportunity to make a substantial amount of money available to some very worthy causes,” Wayne said.

“This year, our goal is to encourage more members to the fund and increase our annual donation amount – we can always do better!

Katie said that the Tomago culture lends itself to supporting the community at every turn, so they were thrilled to be able to continue their fundraising, especially in light of COVID when people need the support more than ever.

“Here at Tomago Aluminium we have a great culture of giving back to our community and it is something we will continue to foster,” she said.

“Everyone at Tomago is happy to get behind these hardworking community groups because we believe that, with just a small weekly donation from our pay packets, we can really make a difference.

“Every employee is encouraged to contribute and every year the money is divided between local charities, with employees nominating and voting to decide which groups will be supported each year.”

Tomago’s fundraising efforts have helped more than 40 charities over the past 30 years, donating over two million to local charities, including $1 million to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

It was also a strong supporter of drought-stricken farmers during the Buy A Bale campaign, donating $50,000. They also raised an additional $50,000 for local Rural Fire Service brigades in the wake of the devastating 2019-20 bushfires.

IMAGE | Got Your Back Sista Community and Fundraising Manager, Peree Watson, and Founder/Chief Executive, Melissa Histon accepting the Tomago Workplace Giving Fund donation.

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