L-R:  Julia McKenna, Manuela Whitford and Zoe Scharenguivel.
L-R: Julia McKenna, Manuela Whitford and Zoe Scharenguivel.

Dance with dignity in celebration of national award

FRIENDS with Dignity has been recognised as the charity of the year in the Australian Charity Awards 2018, the awards which recognise and reward organisations for the exceptional work undertaken through their charitable activities.

"It is such an honour for Friends With Dignity to be recognised," founder and chief executive officer, Manuela Whitford said.

"This achievement not only highlights the dedication and drive volunteers have to make a difference to the lives of people affected by domestic and family violence, but how this epidemic affects society as a whole."

In celebration of being named charity of the year, Friends With Dignity invites all supporters to attend A Magical Christmas Gala Charity Ball on Saturday, November 17 at the Southport Sharks Event Centre on the Gold Coast.

Friends with Dignity is a national not-for-profit organisation with a vision focused on providing a platform for anyone to volunteer, and in turn change the perception and statistics of domestic and family violence throughout Australia.

"The practical support offered by the local community ensuring families have no reason to return to a life of abuse and violence is equally overwhelming and humbling," Ms Whitford said.

"Our service is built from a mutual passion and determination to make a difference to families we will never meet. It's about doing what we can to support our neighbours and community."

A self-funded 100 per cent volunteer driven model Friends With Dignity is reliant on donations which reinforces the value the service provides within the not-for-profit sector.

"Having been described as a "ground breaking" service, it's reassuring to know Friends With Dignity identified a gap, and by engaging the local community we have managed to assist thousands of men, women and children through our programs," Ms Whitford said.

"Our goal is to make people more aware that domestic and family violence does not discriminate and that we can all do something no matter how big or small.

"Friends With Dignity relies on donations of new and pre-loved whitegoods, furniture and household items from the community to create sanctuaries for men, women and children leaving refuge to start a new life.

"We take pride that we are in some way limiting landfill and unnecessary waste, taking an environmentally-friendly approach in all that we do," Ms Whitford said.

For more information, go to friendswithdignity.org.au.

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