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Care packages a welcome gesture for those fleeing violence

LOCAL Priceline pharmacists, including Priceline Eastlands owner Jerry Hampton, have banded together to support victims of domestic violence in Tasmania.

The pharmacists recently donated 150 packages containing hairdryers, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other personal care items to vulnerable families in the state doing it tough over the Christmas period.

Priceline was inspired to contribute to the cause after learning about the Tasmanian Government’s “Rapid Rehousing” initiative.

A collaboration between the government, CatholicCare, Centacare Evolve Housing and community housing providers, the program offers faster options for safe, secure and longer-term housing for families fleeing family violence and at-risk of homelessness.

Mr Hampton said the initiative was “a natural fit” for Priceline Pharmacy.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing. This is very topical and so important … my staff were just delighted to come and help,” he said.

CatholicCare Tasmania executive officer Tim Gourlay gratefully accepted the packages in December, which were later distributed to clients accessing CatholicCare housing options, young women’s emergency accommodation and therapeutic residential care homes.

Mr Gourlay praised the project, describing it as “a wonderful partnership between private, community and government sectors.”

“This is a very important initiative as many of our clients can find themselves in crisis accommodation in a stressful and vulnerable state – often with access to little more than the clothing they are wearing,” he said.

Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said the packages were “boxes of hope.”

“Things [like] this might not seem so important, [but] to women and children escaping family violence they can make a world of difference,” she said.

“I commend Priceline management and staff for this initiative.

“Family violence is a whole-of-community issue and this is a great example of how everyone can take action to help.”