Started as a charity to fill a gap in the support for women and children in need, Roundabout Canberra has grown and established itself as an indispensable ACT organisation.
The service provides safe and clean baby and children’s items for vulnerable families through a network of community and not-for-profit organisations which pass on the products to clients.
Founded by Hannah Andrevski, who saw the need for such a service in Canberra while on maternity leave with her baby and toddler in late 2017, its mission is to provide essential items many of us take for granted to bring comfort and support to children and their families or carers.
Since its inception in 2018, Roundabout Canberra has worked with volunteers and more than 300 social workers from 90 organisations to distribute items across the capital and surrounding regions.
During Roundabout’s first three years, Hannah ran the service as a volunteer alongside her paid position in the public service.
In 2019, she was nominated for ACT Local Australian on the Year, won an award for her volunteering impact through Volunteering ACT and was a Westfield Local Hero. Hannah was appointed CEO of Roundabout Canberra in 2022.
“On a number of occasions prior to 2017, I wanted to donate some of my pre-loved baby items to local charities,” Hannah said. “Often the charities most likely to need these items were unable to accept donations due to a lack of space and resources to sort, clean, safety check and store them.
“This meant many valuable and needed pre-loved items weren’t able to be passed on to women in need. It also meant that when these services had clients in need, they often weren’t able to assist them with baby items and equipment quickly and easily.”
Hannah discovered resources in other states and territories met these needs and decided to reach out to a range of community services in Canberra.
“I realised this was something that was much-needed in Canberra. So I recruited the help of a fantastic group of women to create Roundabout Canberra,” she said.
“Since its inception, Roundabout Canberra has been volunteer-powered and continues to do great work thanks to the amazing people who have donated their time and effort to help families in need.”
Roundabout Canberra helped support 2000 children and their families in 2021, always considering their unique needs. Items provided included pre-loved and new clothing, linen, toys, books, toiletries, nappies, wipes, cots, prams and car-seats.
The service was recently asked to provide backpacks containing size-appropriate change of clothes, underwear and socks, pyjamas, toy, book and some toiletries for children needing to stay in short-term emergency accommodation with their parent or carer.
Roundabout then saw an opportunity to help further by providing back-to-school backpacks on top of the original request.
“We reached out to the team at Icon Water to see if they could assist,” Hannah said. “They were very excited at the prospect of being able to provide kids the opportunity to have nice new school bags to start the school year.”
Icon Water has now donated 200 new backpacks, including unique name tags. Icon Water’s backpack supplier, Liquid Promotions, donated water bottles to match each bag.
“Roundabout Canberra is so grateful for the support provided by Icon Water and Liquid Promotions,” Hannah said. “We are continuing to distribute these bags to families in need, providing dignity and peace of mind for so many in our community.”