Mothers and their babies who were involved in the hard lockdown in Flemington last month are among more than 120 mothers the Caroline Chisholm Society is helping during the coronavirus pandemic.
Working with mothers and young children in Moonee Valley for more than 30 years, the organisation offers support and care packages to women who are at risk through issues such as family violence, homelessness, mental illness and social isolation.
The important work will be helped along with $20,000 through Council’s Covid-19 Recovery Community Grants program.
Jennifer Weber, Chief Executive Officer of the Caroline Chisholm Society, said the money will be used to create, pack and distribute food, clothing and early childhood care packs to families who may otherwise fall between the cracks during the crisis.
Ms Weber said the panic buying at supermarkets meant families who may have already struggled to access food were pushed further to the edge.
“I was literally going out with the credit card in the second week of lockdown to purchase food so we could do our own food packs and getting hand sanitizer and things like that,” she said.
Dropping the packs to families also gives workers a chance to check in with mothers to see how they’re managing, whether that be from the front door or front fence.
“We’ve actually had mums write in to say ‘your service, your work has actually been the lifeline to keep us safe,’” Ms Weber said.
“’That without this I don’t know what I would have done’.”
Working within the restrictions, the Society is using the ability to leave home for exercise to engage mums through ‘walk and talks’ – getting mums outside talking with a practitioner about how their family is coping and where they need support.
The use of technology including whatsapp groups and telehealth platforms are also used to run mums’ groups online.
One thing the pandemic has hampered is the Society’s ability to accept material donations.
Ms Weber wanted to thank the Moonee Valley community for their support through the past few months but said at the moment they’re unable to take up all the generous offers.
“Everyone wants to call us, they want to make those donations, at the moment it’s much harder to process clothing donations, we physically just can’t do it because we are limited in our resources,” she said.
Ms Weber said the best way help at the moment is to donate money if you can that will go towards more food and care packs. Visit caroline.org.au to help.
The next round of Moonee Valley Council’s COVID-19 Recovery Grants is now open. This time we’ve added more community categories to help groups of all sizes.
Whether you’re a big community organisation or a small non-for-profit group we want you to apply. Click here to find out more.