A mother within an Our Place site now has “Wings to Fly”
An opportunity to have a warm drink and a chat with Our Place Community Facilitators has contributed to a mother to feeling empowered once again.
As a result of experiencing family violence, Anna* found herself having to relocate to reside in a women’s refuge along with her young children. Being a migrant from another country and fleeing family violence left Anna feeling socially isolated, low on confidence and self-esteem, all whilst experiencing a lack of life stability and navigating many unknowns.
One day whilst walking her children to school, Anna was greeted by an Our Place community facilitator who was standing at the school gate. It was a freezing cold morning, and the community facilitator was inviting parents and carers in for a warm drink and a snack as the weekly Our Place coffee and chat session was being held. Anna decided to accept the causal and inviting invitation, and from here, many positive changes began to occur for her.
After connecting with the community facilitators that morning, Anna became a regular attendee of the coffee and chat sessions. Through attending these sessions, Anna began to develop a positive relationship with the community facilitators and friendships with other parents and carers. These connections have been invaluable for Anna as they have reduced her social isolation and have aided increasing her self-esteem. With an increase in her self-esteem, the community facilitators helped Anna to commence regular volunteering and enroll in Adult English classes. This further increased her confidence and is assisting her to gain skills that she can utilise to secure employment.
Anna has recently secured permanent secure housing within walking distance to the school and is also actively involved in helping others and advocating for other women experiencing family violence challenges. Anna has since shared with the community facilitators that she feels much more stable and empowered and feels she has a bright and happy future ahead. Anna feels as though she now has “wings to fly”.
Aligning with the Our Place Approach
This is one example of how facilitating soft entry community engagement and connection opportunities for families can benefit parents, carers and children. The Our Place staff, based on site, are the facilitators and enablers who ensure the parts of the integrated, place-based approach work effectively as a whole. Our Place staff also listen to and work with the community as genuine partners.
One of the Our Place guiding principles is that families should have seamless access to education and the support they need. This is why we also strive for a single, shared entrance, a ‘no wrong door’ policy, and a single storytelling experience with the school at the heart of the community.
To learn more about the Our Place Approach Click Here
*Name’s mentioned within this article have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals and their families