Our History

The Help Street Foundation was established in 2001 by the then Chatswood-Willoughby Uniting Church as an expression of the Christian commitment of church members to strengthen their local community and assist people in need. The Foundation aims to support the provision of community services for people within the Willoughby Local Government Area, irrespective of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, creed, religion or any other status.

Seed funding for the Foundation was provided from proceeds of the sale of the site of the former Chatswood Central Uniting Church on the corner of Help Street and the Pacific Highway, Chatswood. It was the location of this site that provided the inspiration for the name of the new foundation.

The Help Street Foundation was commissioned at a service at the Chatswood-Willoughby Uniting Church on Sunday 1 July 2001. The Help Street Foundation was then launched by the Hon Joe Hockey, MP, Federal Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, with a civic reception on 10 July 2001 in the Bailey Hall, Chatswood. Attendees included Federal and State Members of Parliament, the Mayor of Willoughby and other Councillors and representatives of Willoughby City Council, as well as church, civic and business leaders.

The highlight of the launch was the presentation of the first two grants from the Foundation. The chairperson, David Hodges, presented these grants to Keenagers and Streetwork. Both of these organisations worked very actively in the Chatswood-Willoughby community with two often neglected groups – the elderly (especially those who are frail and with a dementing illness) and disadvantaged youth. Keenagers and Streetwork both received cheques for $15000.

Each year since, the Help Street Foundation has assisted organisations and community groups in Chatswood-Willoughby through its Annual Grants Program.