As a mutual organisation owned by our members (not by shareholders), any profits we generate are invested back into the business for the benefit of members, customers and the community. This means we are keen supporters of a range of initiatives, organisations and community groups in the areas our business operates.

Share the Dignity

Share the Dignity is an organisation working to end period poverty in Australia. They work to ease the burden of having a period for women living below the poverty line, by collecting sanitary products and bringing them to those in need.

Each March and August we display our Dignity Drive boxes in our stores where people can place donations. We’ve collected for Share the Dignity for several years now and love bringing this important issue to the forefront.

With One Voice Choir

In 2019 UFS was delighted to bring the With One Voice Choir to Ballarat. There is significant evidence that people singing together instils change in the brain, promotes general health and wellbeing benefits, and creates a sense of community strength and feeling of inclusion. In recent years there has been an increasing amount of evidence about the health benefits of singing, both from a physiological and mental health perspective. Choir Conductor Suzanne Hobson leads the choir each Wednesday evening from 6pm. The choir is a great place to find your voice, find friends, de-stress, increase your well-being and confidence, learn new skills and connect to your community. There are no auditions and no singing experience ­­is necessary – everyone is welcome. This program wasn’t able to operate due to the Coronavirus pandemic, however we are thrilled that as of Wednesday 2 December, the Choir is once again meeting. Due to COVID restrictions, registrations are essential by phoning 0448 564 362. Venue details will be advised on registration.

UFS is a committed supporter of our community, providing considerable donations and sponsorship to local groups and community organisations each year. If you represent a not-for-profit community organisation, UFS may assist by providing a donation or sponsorship support. Click here for more details on approaching UFS for sponsorship or a donation.

Some of the groups we’ve been delighted to support through sponsorship

Royal South Street Society is Australia’s foremost Eisteddfod, promoting, fostering and encouraging participation and interest in the performing arts. UFS has sponsored the Royal South Street Society every year for over 25 years. UFS members receive discounted tickets to RSSS performances.

Promoting Cultural Diversity and Harmony in Our Region, BRMC’s mission is to work in partnership with other community organisations, Cultural Associations and members to actively promote multiculturalism, cultural diversity and the well-being of all migrant communities throughout the Region.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is a not-for-profit event that immerses the historic town of Ballarat in photographic art. Founded in 2005, it attracts significant international and Australian photographers as one of Australia’s pre-eminent photographic festivals.

Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network aims to reduce the impact of suicide in our community. They are committed to opening up the conversation about suicide, reducing stigma surrounding suicide and increasing access to suicide prevention services. The network comprises community, government and service providers who all share a common aim – the prevention of suicide in our community. Those who have been affected by suicide are also part of the network – bringing personal experience and a passion to make a difference.

Heartbeat Ballarat offers peer to peer support for people living with heart disease in Ballarat and surrounding district. Peer to peer support includes one on one support, group support and/or advice on seeking services and locating ongoing treatment options. Social catch ups and regular monthly events, optional meals, guest speakers, CPR demonstrations, movie nights, BBQs, etc. Heartbeat Ballarat members also raise funds to improve cardiac services at both Ballarat hospitals.

ScriptWise is the first and only non-profit organisation dedicated solely to reducing the number of deaths in Australia from prescription medication misuse. Their aim is to amplify the voices of those personally affected to see this issue put on the national health agenda. ScriptWise was founded in response to the emerging and alarming increase in overdose deaths due to prescription medications in Australia. Families across the country, like our Founding Patron Kim Ledger and our Founding Ambassadors Margaret and John Millington, have been losing loved ones at an unprecedented rate to this preventable crisis.

As well as directly supporting organisations through our sponsorship and donations program, we support many other charitable causes in our stores. We are happy to certify documents as a service to the community, and ask that in return a gold coin donation is made to the collection tins in our stores for various organisations, which includes:

Cancer Council, Lifeline, Support Australian Farmers Buy a Bale campaign, Royal Children’s Hospital, Bush Fund, Starlight Foundation, Apex Guide Dogs, Ballarat Soup Bus, World’s Greatest Shave, Ballarat Cancer Centre, Ovarian cancer research, Australian Himalayan Foundation, Diabetes Victoria, Maxigesic tokens for prostate cancer, Starlight, Leukemia Foundation and CFA.