‘The Couch’ awarded Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence
The Couch International Student Drop in Centre operates out of The Salvation Army in Melbourne CBD and was recently presented with the 2013 Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence by Premier of Victoria the Hon. Dennis Napthine at Government House.
The award recognises the impact that The Couch has had and continues to have amongst international students in Melbourne who require a range of ongoing supports.
The Couch operates four nights a week and works with 120 - 150 international students each night. At the centre, Salvation Army volunteers provide free hot meals and assistance with finding affordable housing and employment.
Major Brendan Nottle is the Commanding Officer at The Salvation Army Project 614 and says that the number of international students accessing the drop in centre is increasing.
"Lots of students are struggling. It's expensive for them to get by in Melbourne and many can't afford the basics like food, travel and accommodation," he said.
Since The Couch opened, The Salvation Army in Melbourne has also seen an increase in the number of students accessing its other day services.