Born in the year the Great Depression hit, Catherine Woods had experienced crises and wars before the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

She recalls her family being put out of their farm, an orange orchard, when she was a child because no-one had enough money to buy the fruit her father grew.

“None of us went hungry then because we and other growers would share and swap our produce,” she remembers.

When Catherine and her own family moved into North Ryde in 1957, it was all farmland there too, being opened up for first time to suburban developers.

After losing her husband, Catherine did a lot more driving around the area but, by the time she turned 88, she wanted to stop driving and needed help carrying heavy shopping so she signed up for help from SCS staff.

“It’s great: the girls push your trolley and get it into the car – it’s like having your husband back!  They even offer to put the shopping away for me, but I don’t need that done. We go to the IGA, the newsagent, the cakeshop, get whatever I need, then we stop at a café before coming home.”

Catherine appreciates the friendly companionship of the service which runs for two hours.

“They know your story and you know theirs,” she says of the handful of support staff she has had over the years.

If staff change, she says it doesn’t take long to “train them up” in her preferred products.

“One of the girls, when she was new to me, just took photos of each item so she would know for next time.”

Sydney Community Services also runs  Phone Shopping  and Village Bus services around Lane Cove.

See more about our shopping services here.