SHPA congratulates David Winter, who yesterday was awarded the City of Whitehorse’s Citizen of the Year Award for 2021.
The SHPA nominated David for this award principally for the work undertaken during COVID-19 in establishing a highly successful Meals on Wheels program, but also as an acknowledgement of his long-term commitment to and support of community organisations in Mont Albert, Surrey Hills and beyond. The nomination was supported by written testimonies from many community representatives including Paul Hamer, MP, State member for Box Hill and the Rotary Club of Mont Albert & Surrey Hills, of which David has been an active member since 2004.
As many would know, David established his business, Bread Street, in Hamilton Street, Mont Albert in 2002. Its website is testimony to David’s ethos - schools, sporting clubs and community groups are supported through bread donations for sausage sizzles and fundraising events; daily leftover bread is donated to local soup kitchens and the like. Through his business David has also willingly provided employment opportunities for secondary and university students, extending this opportunity to those with intellectual and physical disabilities. Whilst David's most visible work is within the local community, we are aware that he and his partner, Bev, have a broader reach including caring for teenagers experiencing life difficulties and establishing career paths and ongoing support for them.
With the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, David recognised that many of his elderly customers would be at risk. He and Bev devised what became an incredibly valuable and successful Meals on Wheels program targeted at the elderly, vulnerable and socially isolated in the local community providing provided fresh, home-cooked meals delivered on Mondays and Fridays to participants in their homes, from Balwyn through to Vermont and Mont Albert North through to Burwood.
David initially advertised the program and appealed for volunteer cooks and drivers through his contacts in Rotary, notices in the bakery and on social media pages. His reputation resulted in a team that grew to 130 volunteers. David linked into and co-operated with other existing community support organisations including the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre, the Whitehorse Community Registry (Box Hill Police) and St Vinnies Mont Albert/Surrey Hills soup kitchen. Through Rotary Box Hill/Burwood (RCBHB) and Rotary Club Nth Balwyn, David’s Meals on Wheels also provided international students with meals. Over lockdown up until Christmas this service provided 9500 meals, an average of 400 meals per week, to 270 people.
Behind the up-front seamless organisation, David and Bev spent hours updating the weekly lists of clients and suggested routes for drivers; communicating with cooks and drivers; with Rotary members and many other individuals, including referring doctors, family members and neighbours of recipients. The recipients not only benefited from the high quality and variety of the meals provide, but also from the social contact with the deliverers.
David Winter’s Meals on Wheels program epitomises this man’s many admirable qualities, in particular his altruism and respect for humanity. Generous and humble, he is simply a wonderful example of an individual who is able to knit a community together to the betterment and benefit of all. As Joe Somers, a past-President of the Mont Albert & Surrey Hills Rotary Club, said David Winter is “extraordinary, genial, generous; he leads by example and is unfailingly ready to assist wherever he sees need.”
David accepting his award with City of Whitehorse Mayor, Andrew Munroe and CEO, Simon McMillan.
David with some of the Meals on Wheels volunteers - Sue Barnett and Greg Buchanan (SHPA committee members), Sabrina Crosthwaite (one of the cooks) and Gwen Misso (one of the deliverers).
A great photo of this worth recipient - well done David.