Helping Hands

Posted by Admin on 9 October 2012 | 0 Comments

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Helping Hands

When Montrose resident Alan Hopkins lost his 40-year-old wife out of the blue last month, he was left picking up the pieces.

Being a working dad to a one-year-old son and five-year-old daughter suddenly became infinitely harder, and juggling basic household tasks such as cooking and cleaning near impossible.

So when the Montrose community gathered to support him and his children, Mr Hopkins was left speechless amid the kindness and generosity.

"It's been pretty tough since we're in the middle of moving house but there's been an outpour of sympathy from people," he said.

On the Friday after his wife Kerry's death, a large group of people from his workplace, Rosebank Engineering in Bayswater, gave up their own time to help him pack up the house.

Carers from Cuddly Bear Child Care, who look after Mr Hopkins' son Nathan, stepped up to help him with paperwork and even lent him clothes for the funeral.

Billanook Primary School, where his daughter Medina attends, gave both children a teddy bear and the parent group provided them with groceries.

The Montrose CFA also provided his family with food, support and counselling.

"Everybody's just been very kind and it's extremely touching to know the warmth for my wife and my family in the community and that there are good people out there," he said.

"It's been overwhelming - people have cooked meals for me and I have a roster of meals from the CFA, the Croydon Women's Fellowship and the childcare in the fridge and a lady stood in and babysat last week so I could do CFA training.

"It's just wonderful and the CFA crew have been bricks."

Mr Hopkins and his wife moved to Australia five years ago from the UK, after staying in New Zealand for a period of time.

They were made Australian citizens two months ago, and he said he couldn't be any prouder to be an Australian.

"I have come to find out what the word mateship really means," he said.

"None of the family could make it for the funeral because they were in the UK so without the community's help, we would've completely struggled.

"The people of Montrose are like our family."

Mr Hopkins said he was extremely grateful for all the support the community provided.

He thanked them with a garage sale of Ms Hopkins' things and old baby items, raising more than $400, which he donated to the Relay for Life cancer fund.

Ms Hopkins' cause of death is still unknown.

By Emma Sun

 

26th September 2012 09:4515am