CRUCIAL WORK: Lorraine and Dean Harvey are the only two volunteers for the Ipswich RizeUp Hub. They furnish homes for families fleeing domestic violence.
CRUCIAL WORK: Lorraine and Dean Harvey are the only two volunteers for the Ipswich RizeUp Hub. They furnish homes for families fleeing domestic violence. Rob Williams

Preparing homes for families fleeing domestic violence

WHEN Lorraine Harvey had some furniture she no longer needed, she wanted to give it life beyond sitting in an op-shop.

Instead she donated it to domestic violence charity RizeUp.

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Once she learnt more about the important work they do, she signed up herself and husband Dean as volunteers so they could play their part as well.

The organisation assists victims through a number of programs, including furnishing houses for vulnerable families who have had to swiftly leave their homes behind.

The Harveys are the only two volunteers working for the Ipswich RizeUp Hub; Lorraine co-ordinates donations and Dean is on the truck picking them up and delivering them wherever they are needed.

Due to safety reasons, volunteers don't know the address of the houses they need to fit out until the morning of and in the span of a few hours they transform an empty space into a warm new home.

The Ipswich hub is assisted by volunteers from other areas.

"In a few hours it's set up right down to food in the pantry, bedding and toys for the children," Lorraine said.

"It's a good feeling (to help). I think it's peace of mind, we're actually really helping people. We're giving practical help and going by the feedback we do get... we are making a difference."

The local hub is in desperate for more people to come on board and Lorraine said there always something to be done, no matter how little time you had spare.

"In 2018 in total we helped 20 families in the area," she said.

"This year up to the end of May, we've already helped 17 families. The problem is increasing.

"We just really need as many people to help as possible."

RizeUp CEO and founder Nicolle Edwards said Ipswich was a busy region and demand for the service is growing.

"RizeUp has been present and active, albeit remotely, in the Ipswich area for the last three years," she said.

"As Queensland's premier service, we are partnered with the Domestic Violence Action Centre in Ipswich and provide valuable support for local families fleeing domestic and family violence.

"RizeUp relies heavily on its local community to help change the ending for vulnerable families who have been exposed, in some cases, to unimaginable trauma."

To join up or for more information on how you can help email volunteer@rizeup.com.au or visit the RizeUp Facebook page.