Kim's Story

I love cooking for my friend with the vegetables I collect from the local womens resource centre

I’d been living in Cronulla for 27 years, and had a good group of friends around me who I knew well, so we would socialise, bike ride and shop together, and generally be quite busy. But then my partner and I moved to Batemans Bay, and our relationship broke down. I became homeless, which resulted in me having a crisis and ending up in hospital.

When Flourish collected me from the hospital I was so scared I ended up driving to Batemans Bay and stayed a night, before I headed back to Bega. Thank goodness I did return. I’ve been with the Flourish team for 10 years now and I have really changed.

One of the main changes was gaining my independence. I had not driven for more than a year, and the team at Flourish Australia encouraged me to practice to make perfect. So I’m able to access the community now by driving, and that makes life much easier. I have no excuse to not be able to do things, because I can!

I spend time taking care of my mental health, by doing exercise and getting out into the community as much as I can. It’s important to keep my head in the right space. What’s really great is I have a best friend now, and it makes me feel good that I can help by driving her places and then we socialise together with other friends.

I also shop – well I love shopping and if I could, I would shop all day long! That makes me smile. I have other activities that I enjoy too – like going to TAFE, Ricki’s Place for lunch on Wednesdays and dinner on Fridays, plus Monday social group. I also collect vegetables from the women’s resource centre and cook for my friends – it’s a full week now.

I’ve learnt that I’m a positive force to be reckoned with. I do good deeds whenever I can, and surround myself with good people. I’m known around town as a nice person, and I suppose you’d say I’m quiet achiever.

I’m on the Community Advisory Committee at Flourish Australia and this gives me a real sense of importance, and allows me to experience and understand different communities. I feel I can contribute positively to this group due to my lived experience.

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