Big Group Hug director Angela Wood and co-director Geraldine Camilleri.

City of Whittlesea based Big Group Hug has announced it is partnering with fellow not-for-profit Caroline Chisholm Society to expand services and reach to western metropolitan Melbourne.

Big Group Hug will expand its services of providing pre-loved material aid to children and families experiencing hardship.

Teaming up with Caroline Chisholm Society who is a family services organisation specialising in pregnancy and early parenting programs and services.

The collaboration between the two not-for-profits has the support of the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund, delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the State Government.

The funding helps bring to life a project, aptly named The Sustainable Collective by Big Group Hug.

The Sustainable Collective’s primary goals are three-fold – ensuring continued supply of material aid to families in need; reducing child poverty through community-owned and community-driven solutions; and re-purposing and recycling of pre-loved material items that would otherwise end up in landfill.

Geographically, the new hub will be based in western Metropolitan Melbourne, servicing communities in more than nine local government areas including Brimbank, Melton, Moorobool, Wyndham, Hobsons’ Bay, Moreland, Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong, and Macedon Ranges.

Big Group Hug chief executive Bernadene Voss said the not-for-profit was excited to be working with agencies, such as Caroline Chisholm Society, to service an increasing gap of material aid needed in western Melbourne.

“When organisations collaborate the effect and impact is amplified and I know that together we will ensure the children who need it most will be the beneficiaries,” she said.

Caroline Chisholm Society chief executive Jennifer Weber welcomed the partnership as a significant opportunity to improve the sustainability of recycling and donations across the western suburbs of Melbourne.

“We know only too well what it means to ensure we are able to provide a safe place for baby to sleep, the need of a pram for a mum and her baby to move around in her community,” she said.

“The growing pressures on families means more than ever access to material aid while addressing the most immediate concerns presenting when a mother contacts the society seeking assistance, it is also an important connection into pregnancy and early parenting programs designed to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of mothers, their babies, infants and young children.”