Do we need a "Ricky’s Place" in Narooma?

HELPING OTHERS: The meeting next Tuesday evening to see if Narooma needs a Ricky’s Place will be addressed by Ross Williams of Bega who helped establish Ricky’s Place there.
HELPING OTHERS: The meeting next Tuesday evening to see if Narooma needs a Ricky’s Place will be addressed by Ross Williams of Bega who helped establish Ricky’s Place there.

A PUBLIC meeting has been called to see if the community thinks Narooma needs its own “Ricky’s Place” modelled on the community outreach centre of the same name in Bega.

Ricky’s Place opens three times a week in Bega for people finding life tough.

They can meet friends, have a shower, be waited on for a meal, receive financial and other counselling, and generally connect with other people.

The move comes after Narooma Uniting Church minister David Oliphant visited Ricky’s Place in Bega and saw what was happening there.

He also met the main driving force behind Ricky’s Place, Ross Williams, and decided to invite Ross to come and tell his story in Narooma.

“The thing that really struck me about Ricky’s Place was the peaceful atmosphere where everyone seemed at home,” Uniting Church minister David Oliphant said.

“There was a sense of human dignity that made the old term ‘soup kitchen’ seem inappropriate,” he said.

Ricky’s Place in Bega is staffed by volunteers from local churches and the wider local community and has served hundreds of meals since it opened in August 2009.

“On the day that I visited the kitchen it was being run by a team from the Catholic Church and they waited on tables,” David said.

“There was a selection of three main dishes, dessert, tea and coffee all for a small donation should they so choose.”

The public meeting is on Tuesday, July 17 at the Narooma Uniting Church Hall, Wagonga Street (right on the highway) at 7.30pm.

I’m not surprised Ricky’s Place has become so valued in Bega and widely supported.”

“It is the community caring for itself regardless of our differences,” David said.

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