Salvos seek support

The Salvation Army Castlemaine Doorways coordinator Mellita Joy, team members Sharna, Aaron, Jane and captain Amy Jones urge community members to throw their support behind the 2024 Red Shield Appeal.

The Salvation Army Castlemaine is urging locals to donate what they can to help them in their vital work supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

This year Australia’s most trusted charity is celebrating 60 years of the Red Shield Appeal and aims to raise $38 million as part of the country’s largest and longest-running door knock appeal.

Salvation Army Castlemaine captain Amy Jones said, in light of the cost-of-living crisis, the need had never been greater.

“We are supporting more community members than ever before through our Doorways program and we are seeing new faces all the time,” she said.

The Salvos team and volunteers will be out in force collecting for the Red Shield from tomorrow, May 8, at three different locations.

You will find their stall outside the Maldon Newsagency from May 8-11, at the Maxi IGA supermarket complex from May 13-18 and outside the Castlemaine Newsagency from May 22-25.

Ms Jones said all the funds raised locally would stay in the region to support those doing it tough in our community.

“That’s a point of difference with The Salvation Army. You can make a donation to us knowing it will make a difference right here in Mount Alexander Shire,” she said.

Doorways coordinator Mellita Joy said they were assisting people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

“We have people sleeping rough through to those with jobs and mortgages who simply don’t have any money left to put food on the table,” Mellita said.

“Our Doorways service is open at the Salvation Army Hall in Kennedy Street, Castlemaine Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30am-12 and community members can just call in and say hello for a cuppa and a friendly chat.

“They can grab some dry underwear or socks, a bite to eat or meet with one of our case workers to arrange food relief or connection to housing support or other services.

“We can then look to offer vouchers for food and other essentials or link them in with other services across our community all listed on the ‘Help at Hand map’ – such as NILS loan support, Centrelink assistance, counselling or a range of other services.

“We recently overhauled our Food Pantry so it’s really client-focused and clients can utilise their voucher to ‘shop’ for the items they need with one of our team members. Giving them dignity and a choice over the items they wish to purchase rather than just handing them a food parcel. It is about ensuring they feel heard.”

Mellita said the Doorways food pantry resource was made possible thanks to the support of fundraisers such as Red Shield, which enabled them to purchase a wide array of items to keep the pantry fully stocked with items ranging from shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, to a huge selection of food items and even pet food.

“Some people will feed their pets before themselves, that relationship and connection with their animal companion is vital to their wellbeing,” Mellita said.

The Doorways food pantry also receives support from Food Bank, Foodshare Bendigo, the Salvos Shop, Hot ‘n’ Crusty Country Bakery Castlemaine, Fords Dairy, Don Smallgoods and a range of other incredible small businesses.

“A lot of local community members will also donate fresh fruit and produce if they have excess,” she said.

“Donations are gratefully received and can be dropped into during the sessions.”

Assessment interviews for those seeking assistance can also be arranged by calling the Salvos Phone Assistance Line on 03 8873 5288.

To donate or volunteer for The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal or if you need support from the Salvos, visit or call 13 SALVOS. You can also donate at any Salvos Store.