Greater and PwC build gardens for Father Chris Riley to help Cessnock Youth

Young people in Cessnock using the local father Chris Riley’s Youth of the Streets drop in centre now have a supply of fresh vegetables and herbs and gardens to care for thank to two Hunter businesses.

A dozen staff from the Greater Building Society’s Finance and Risk departments and from PwC Newcastle’s auditing team volunteered their time on Wednesday April 16 to build and plant out six vegetable gardens at the Youth Off The Streets Hunter office in Alkira Street.

Each year The Greater and PwC staff do a day’s work for a charity. This is the first year Youth Off The Streets has been chosen. In recent years the team has supported the Aspect Hunter School at Thornton.

Youth Off The Streets’ Hunter Valley outreach program manager, Jennifer Jackson, said the creation of this sustainable garden in the local community, for the local community, will help foster a sense of ownership and pride among the local young people and their families, as well as building understanding of healthy eating habits.

“The team did a great job in record time – well done!” Ms Jackson said.

Greater Building Society accounting manager Matthew Barlow said it was very rewarding to build something that is a tangible first step in helping local young people. He said the day was also a great team building opportunity for Greater and PwC staff.

“It was great to know that the young people will be able to eat the vegetables and herbs and also take ongoing care of the gardens,” Mr Barlow said.

“This project was another way the Greater can give back to the Cessnock community where we have been helping people with their banking for 24 years,” he said.

Youth Off The Streets this year became a charity partner of the Greater Charitable Foundation. The Foundation is providing it with $287,375 over two years to fund 12 Hunter Valley Futures programs that provide tailored early-intervention and education for disadvantaged children and young people aged four to 19 years in Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Maitland. The Foundation is funded from the profits of the Greater Building Society.

PwC is the Greater Building Society’s appointed auditor. The Greater Building Society’s Cescnock branch opened this month 24 years ago (April 1980).