Community connections forging strong ties
Making meaningful connections and forming deeper relationships with the local community is a priority at Goodstart Mindarie.
Centre director Ashleigh Bligh said a new program of events had been devised and partnerships formed to help children and families from within the centre’s community, as well as those in the wider community.
“I recently learned that Western Australia has the highest number of vulnerable, or at risk children in the whole of Australia so I thought it was important for our centre to reach out and try and make life easier where we can,” she said.
“Because Goodstart is a social enterprise, we have a strong social purpose to help create better lives for children and families, especially those experiencing disadvantage.”
After talking to staff and families about issues affecting them, Ms Bligh looked further afield to identify issues or causes affecting children or families in the wider Perth community.
“The first thing we did was hold a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness because we know that members of our community have either undergone treatment for breast cancer or are being affected by it,” she said.
The centre is also exploring partnerships with the Children’s Leukaemia Foundation and other local groups and charities including the new Perth Children’s Hospital.
“We really wanted to extend on the idea of helping people who need it, and make it relevant to the children which is why we are focussing on groups that primarily exist to help children,” Ms Bligh said.
“Staff and our families have thrown their support behind our new focus and keen to help where they can.”
Being more aware of the cultural history of the area was another way the centre was helping to build community connections.
“I recently put a call out to families to ask about their family histories and I received some great responses,” Ms Bligh said.
“One family shared with me their connection to an indigenous tribe and they have offered to share their family history with the rest of the centre community.”