A super effort has boosted Wellways homeless and advocacy efforts by more than $1000. Ashleigh Butler and Jared Melrose Campbell gathered their friends and the local community for a “soup-sale” fundraiser on a sunny afternoon at an inner Melbourne park. 

The generous couple said people were all very supportive and helpful of the effort, but it was a passer-by who really made the difference. Jessi, a chef, was strolling by when he saw the group. “He offered to help us in any way he could ... he gave us his card and said he’d be in touch. Then about an hour later he came back and donated $600,” said Ashleigh. “We were totally blown away with his generosity.”

Jessi worked at a restaurant in nearby North Fitzroy. “The day was incredible. We had many friends come and join us, sharing food, stories and anything they could afford to help those in need. It was a wonderful success. We look forward to bringing the people together more often to help our community,” Jared said. 

“Ash and I have noticed more and more people are suffering from mental/emotion health within our community, Jared said. “With funding cuts and lack of support in various areas, there are so many people displaced more than ever and the gap is widening. We found Wellways has a broad scope of action that directly targets those people in need on the 'frontline'. 

Together the pair mounted the “SOUPerb SUPport”, to raise money for those having a rough time. Ashleigh gathered donations from local grocers in Brunswick, Pachamama and Gangemi, who donated fresh produce. “We received so much help from our community and food donations from Sam from Gangemi Fruit. He donated so much food it brought tears to my eyes,” said Ashleigh.

They cooked up pumpkin and coconut soup and a Moroccan lentil soup. Another friend made flat bread.  “We borrowed some big pots and made two different (varieties), which fed around 40 people,” Ashleigh said. “I can’t tell you how many litres, but the pots were huge!”

Jasmine Corbo a Wellways regional manager said the money would go towards improving support for homeless people in eastern Melbourne, through the Pathways to Home program. “We will be able to create a number of ‘care backpacks’ for participants with essential items in them. The care packs will provide immediate practical support for rough sleepers needing sanitary items and warm clothing to assist them, particularly in the colder winter weather coming up.