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Swisstrade – Supporting Homelessness with Dignity

Christmas is a time of giving and being thankful. For most, it’s a time where families come together and enjoy a festive season full of gifts and delicious food. As lovely as this is, it is not however, the same for everyone. Every night more than 116,000* people are homeless in Australia and that number is growing alarmingly. In 2015, frustrated by the lack of dignity shown to people experiencing homelessness, social services veteran, Suzanne Hopman, decided to do something about it and developed a housing solution with a difference. 



Dignity is a registered national charity established in 2015, founded on the principle of providing dignity, support and empowerment to those experiencing homelessness. Suzanne Hopman is the CEO and Founder and 2021 NSW Australian of the Year Local Hero nominee for the work she has done in this field. Since its inception, Dignity has provided over 95,000 nights of supported temporary accommodation to people experiencing homelessness.

Dignity provides supported, temporary accommodation and longer-term stable housing to prevent homelessness through innovative programs, providing shelter, food and education across the country. The long-term vision is to end homelessness in Australia, one person at a time. Dignity aims to empower someone to end their homelessness within 14 days of them arriving at Dignity.
Dignity Charity

Swisstrade Supports Dignity

As a hospitality supplier, Swisstrade are in a unique position to offer support to Dignity and has been involved with the organisation for over 4 years. It all began with Swisstrade director Peter Weingartner’s daughters cooking weekly meals for Dignity through their school, Brigidine College in St Ives. The whole family helped out and through that connection, Swisstrade also became corporate supporter of the charity through his business.

Swisstrade supplies bedding, linen, textiles and toiletries, donating items at least 3 times per year or whenever the need arises. The most recent donation included quality bathroom amenities such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion to help make up Dignity Care Packs in time for Christmas. The donation also included office supplies and hotel equipment such as laundry trolleys, ironing boards and small appliances. 


“Swisstrade is honoured to support Australian Charity Organisation Dignity who work tirelessly to contribute essential donations and resources to make a crucial difference in the lives of women and girls experiencing homelessness, poverty and domestic violence. By regularly donating hotel supplies and toiletries, it’s a small way we can bring hope and comfort to the vulnerable in times of need - and never has it been more important than during the pandemic and as we head for Christmas,” said Peter.

“My whole team at Swisstrade are strong believers in giving back to the community and helping people in need. Since opening in 1997, we have supported local charities in one way or another and struck an ongoing relationship with Dignity because we love what the charity stands for. As they offer emergency crisis accommodation, it was a good fit for Swisstrade - we have the products that can help support them.”


Dignity Partnerships Manager, Sherin Fishwick is grateful for the support of Swisstrade. “We could not continue to do what we do without the help we receive from our corporate partners, and we are so grateful to Swisstrade for their continued support. The demand for our services continues to increase and we depend on them in times like these, especially in the lead up to Christmas.”

Join Swisstrade in Support for Dignity

Christmas and New Year are tough times for many Australian families and as such, there is a peak in the demand for services at Dignity. Swisstrade is hoping to inspire individuals, clients, corporate partners and suppliers to get involved and help support the work of this worthy charity.

“If there’s one thing we’ve learnt since our work with Dignity began, it’s that you never know what circumstances you will end up in. It can happen to anyone, so we’d like to encourage everyone to reach out and support Dignity in their work – especially over Christmas and New Year,” said Peter.

Support can take many forms including: 

  • Follow collection drives and callouts for assistance on Dignity Facebook page
  • Check out the Dignity SEEK volunteer page for opportunities
  • Corporate volunteering – a fabulous team building opportunity
  • School programs – education and activities
  • Cooking and food preparation through the Dignity Dishes program
  • Make a donation at
  • Fund a guest home as a sponsor for a year
  • Organise your own event/luncheon to raise funds on behalf of Dignity
Swisstrade will continue to support Dignity but are also on the lookout for charities focused on sustainability and the environment to extend their community engagement and corporate responsibility program.

“We are all passionate about sustainability here at Swisstrade and we’d love to be able to do more work in this area,” said Peter. “I’m proud of my team and the work we’re doing together. We all feel privileged to be able to support Dignity in the amazing work that they are doing. We love being part of the solution to this ongoing and devastating problem.”

If you’re interested in supporting Dignity, contact them on 1300 332 334 or check out their website

*ABS 2016 Census
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