Official Opening of CatholicCare and Zimmerman Services' new offices in Mayfield

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning and Zimmerman Services, the child protection and healing and support agency of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, will celebrate the official opening and blessing of their new premises at Mayfield on Tuesday 21 May from 10.30am.

Two clients who benefit from the work of CatholicCare will give personal insights at the opening. The first will be a young woman in care who has benefited greatly from CatholicCare's unique Supported Independent Living (SIL) program which assists 16-17 year olds not suited to foster care, to live independently. The young woman and a CatholicCare staff member will perform an Adele song. The second will be a CatholicCare carer who will speak about the support her family receives from the CatholicCare team and the benefits of having the new office located in Mayfield.

Vice-Chancellor, Finance & Administration for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Sean Scanlon, said the whole Catholic community will be celebrating the opening of the new facility in Mayfield as both CatholicCare Social Services and Zimmerman Services are integral parts of the mission of the church.

"While the whole Church is called to continue the mission of Jesus – every person, every parish, every group and agency – the needs of our world require that this mission have a professional dimension that is taken up by those who have the skills and knowledge. CatholicCare Social Services and Zimmerman Services provide this professional dimension through their services," Mr Scanlon said.

Peter Gogarty, a clergy sex abuse victims' advocate, will be a guest speaker at the opening and will talk about the support he personally receives from Zimmerman Services and the accessibility of the new office in Mayfield.

Healing and Support Coordinator for Zimmerman Services, Maureen O'Hearn, said Peter is one of many clients who appreciate the new location in Mayfield.

"The healing and support services have never been more utilised, in light of the Special Commission of Inquiry and the Royal Commission," Ms O'Hearn said. "People feel more comfortable accessing the healing and support services at Mayfield."

Zimmerman Services shares the new facilities with CatholicCare and for the first time in 50 years all of CatholicCare's various arms are working under the same roof; allowing for better collaborative relationships across program areas and a natural synergy with Zimmerman Services.

Bob Smith, from the BHP Historical Society, will talk about the history of the site and Fr Bill Burston will address the spirit of collaboration. Bishop Bill Wright will officially bless the staff and building.

A spirit of partnership and celebration will be central to the official opening with more than 100 children from local Catholic schools involved in entertainment and serving morning tea to the guests.

What: Official opening of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning and Zimmerman Services' new office in Mayfield

When: Tuesday 21 May 2013 10.30am – 12.00pm
Where: 50 Crebert Street, Mayfield West.

CatholicCare offer care, support, assistance and education to all families and individuals, regardless of age, gender or religion. CatholicCare's wide range of services include counselling, foster care, mental health support, youth services and accommodation, disability support and accommodation, marriage education, family relationship services and more.

For all media enquiries, please contact Communications Manager, Emma Blackford, on 0419 263 901.

Please note: Whilst photography and filming by media is welcome, no filming, photography or identification of children in care is allowed at the opening in accordance with current legislation.