From humble beginnings as a tea and coffee service, NoBucks has grown into something much more meaningful for some Hobart locals.
And volunteer, Suzanne has been there from the start.
NoBucks was established by members of the former Wesley Uniting Church congregation in Hobart.
“Initially, we set it up to help bring more people into the church,” says Suzanne.
“One of the young women who attended our church was working (at a local beauty shop) and was telling us about how they would stand out the front with some of the products and ask passers-by if they wanted some of it on their skin.
“She suggested we should do something similar for the church, to get out there, be seen and try to ‘get a bit of church’ on people.”
At the time the church had been given a $2000 bequest and was trying to decide how to use it.
The congregation then decided to revamp the Sunday School room and open it for anyone who wanted to drop in for a cup of tea or coffee at lunchtime.
“People were free to walk in and make themselves a drink and sit down to relax and have a chat,” says Suzanne.
“The minister at the time would sit in here every lunchtime so he could say hello to people and make himself available if anyone wanted to talk.”
As word of the service spread, locals experiencing homelessness or social isolation soon became regular attendees.
As the numbers grew, so too did the service.
Suzanne and her fellow congregation members started cooking meals for those who came to NoBucks.
Fifteen years since it started and now run by Uniting Vic.Tas, NoBucks provides free two-course lunches each weekday to anyone who walks through the door.
While the service has changed over the years, there is one thing that has remained the same – Suzanne’s warm welcome.
“I’ve often thought ‘There but for the grace of God go I’ during my time at NoBucks,” says Suzanne.
“For many, it’s unfortunate circumstances that lead them to a tough place in life.
“I believe we are there to help people in their time of need.
“And I always follow the three P’s. I don’t preach, pry or presume.
“We are simply there to listen if needed.
“I’ve met some lovely people along the way and I just hope that I’ve been of some help to those people when needed.”