This month we were delighted to open the new sensory garden at our Women and Children’s Program that supports Mums with mental health issues and their young families. Flourish Australia supports up to 36 Mums each year, and over the past decade, we’ve helped hundreds to find their feet and flourish.
We see time and again how life changing it is for the Mums and their children, to find through the program the sanctuary, acceptance, and the support they need to thrive in life.
The garden was made possible due to the help of Western Sydney businesses NJ Ashton Group and Cirillo Civil, who came to our aid to complete the garden so beautifully, funding by the Perpetual Foundation, and Donors Peter Robinson, Stuart and Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz. The Women and Children’s Program team have championed the project.
As Nicole, the manager of the program commented on the day:
In designing the garden, our hope was to create a space that would give back to those who engage with it, those of all ages and walks of life, in a therapeutic way. The support we provide at the Women and Children’s Program is deeply grounded in trauma recovery, connection and relationship building - within families, with peers who have shared experiences, and with our community. So our little garden has a lot of work to do!
It was lovely to be at the site to see so many Mums with their children, the team and our many supporters.
One of the Mums who spoke commented “Flourish has taught me many things in the short period I have been a part of their program. They have taught me that it’s okay to ask for help, that it’s okay to feel the emotions we have whilst raising children and that it’s okay to speak up and learn strategies so that we can change that for our baby’s future.”
The event was a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of those early years of life to set a firm foundation for a mentally healthy future. It was also a great reminder that with the right support and opportunities people can learn and change and grow; and can pursue their dreams of a better tomorrow with their families.
As Nicole reminded us, Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.
Mark Orr AM
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