Penrith City Council Mayor, Tricia Hitchen says she has been blown away by the generosity of community members who have donated mobile phones for local domestic violence victims.
Nearly 200 mobile phones have been collected since Council called on residents in June to help support registered charity DV Safe Phone, by dropping off any old, unwanted phones at one of our convenient collection points.
“Community spirit has always been a strong point for Penrith – as soon as we asked for support, we had a stream of people visit the Civic Centre to drop off their unused devices and one person donated seven brand new phones,” Mayor Hitchen (pictured) said.
“This initiative is literally handing a lifeline to people impacted in the Penrith Local Government Area while raising greater awareness about this serious issue, so I thank everyone who has contributed.”
The secondhand devices are tested and refurbished before being given to those trying to escape domestic violence, or survivors requiring access to services as they rebuild their lives.
“While we have seen an incredible amount of phones collected, donations are still being accepted as there is a real need in our community – we’re asking residents to check their drawers or cupboards for old, unwanted phones that can be donated.”
“Council is also urging local services to sign up as distributors through DV Safe Phone, giving more victims and survivors access to these safe phones; let’s work together to get the phones in the hands of those who need them the most,” said Mayor Hitchen.
There are currently more than two million victims of domestic violence in Australia, according to DV Safe Phone.
CEO, Ashton Wood has thanked Council for rolling out the program to help save lives and said Penrith was setting an example for others.
“Penrith City Council have been our most successful and active council yet and is our reference for other councils considering joining our program,” he said.
“We have recently received another 58 phones through their collection network and have even onboarded the local police station as a receiver of our safe phones, ensuring our services directly help their vulnerable community.”
Find out where your nearest collection box location is at penrith.city/dvsafephone.
To learn more about the charity, go to dvsafephone.org.