Working out to warm up a success

Aaron Nauta's boot was overflowing with the donations received. (Damjan Janevski) 417312_01

As the weather continues to get cooler this winter, a flurry of blankets and warm clothes are ready to be donated to those in need, after a winter campaign from AB Health and Fitness.

The Warm Up and Workout campaign, was a series of six weeks of free fitness sessions open to all, with the donation of a warm item the only charge required.

AB Health and Fitness director Aaron Nauta said it was fantastic to see the cause get so much community support.

“We wanted to get about 120 items across the campaign, because we had six weeks with 20 people per class … we ended up getting more than 150 items,” he said.

“People were really generous and brought in bags of clothes every time they came in, so it was really quite successful.”

AB Health and Fitness has been working with the community to help the less fortunate for years, but this was its first time working with Uniting Vic.Tas, who have recently opened a space in Keilor Park.

Mr Nauta said the success of the campaign has the two organisations in discussions over another collaboration appeal in the coming months, with a Christmas appeal to begin in September.

Uniting Vic Tas senior manager Becky Harridge said this year the demand for help was reaching its peak, and all help is appreciated.

“Sadly, we’re seeing more people living in crisis. The demand for our homelessness and housing services is higher than ever as more people struggle to pay their rent and are being pushed into homelessness,” she said.

“The increased cost of living is also driving more people, even those who are working, to seek help from our emergency centres for food vouchers, assistance with medical expenses, energy bills, items for school and clothing.”

Gerald Lynch