Elisa volunteers for Addison Road Community Organisation every week. You may have seen her working at the Main Gates on Sundays, but we know her best for keeping our kitchen well-organised and clean as a whistle.

She admits to being “very house proud. It comes from my mum. I like things to look nice.”

Elisa originally worked a nurse, caring for her mother. “But when mum died I gave up. I’d do it again if I could have my mum back. But it was just time to give it up.”

She arrived to work at Addison Road Community Organisation in early 2016 in a horticulture program. “I liked the feeling here. I liked the people. It felt family oriented.”

After the horticulture program ended, Elisa noticed Addi Road’s Food Pantry being set up. “It looked like they needed a hand. I could see them packing and doing things.” She ended up “working with Ruth, managing the free fruit and vegetables and bread.”

After a while Elisa began to find the work a little stressful, so she moved over to helping in the kitchen, as well as setting up events and stalls. To deal with any anxiousness or stress these days, she likes to make use colouring-in books and doing tapestries. “The tapestry I am working on now has a lighthouse on it. It’s very therapeutic. Working in the garden, or even just sweeping out the back here at Addi Road is the same.”

Music is Elisa’s other release. “I always have the radio on at home. I love music. I put my earphones in and go for a big walk. I like anything from classical music to the Beastie Boys. People always say ‘really’ when I say I like Beastie Boys. But I do like them,” she says. “I love ‘Sabotage’.”

On Sundays, she enjoys working at the Main Gates making sure all the traffic and visitors are headed in the right direction. She says she can still remember when she first walked through the gates herself almost five years ago now.

“All these butterflies are here, you know. I’m right into them. I am always seeing them around the place. One landed on my face that first day I came here. I knew it was a good sign.

“I’d lived on my own for a while. So coming here and having people around, it made me feel special again.”


Donations to Addi Road’s Food Pantry can be made here:



Story by Mark Mordue