While we are actively working towards finding a suitable premises and opening a centre, this is a big endeavour with many facets, and there is still much we need to overcome before this vision will become a reality. But we do not want to wait until we have an operational physical space before we can start to provide support for the many pregnant women in significant need in our community. We are therefore looking for innovative ways to reach these women, even before we can offer them a place to come to for their care.
Our initial project was the formation of a Local Resource Directory which was developed over the past 2 years and finally launched in its preliminary form in June at our first public event. There are now almost 100 copies in the hands of local service providers and health professionals who are using it to better find existing supports to help them meet the needs of women in their care. It has been very well received and we are collating feedback from the community to ensure this directory is comprehensive and current before we will release the official First Edition in early 2023.
The next project that is soon to commence is the First Steps Birthing series of classes – a 6 six-week series that is accessible to all pregnant women in the region. This will work to achieve our mission and vision in some form by offering this comprehensive in-person birth and parenting course free for all eligible women. However, we also recognise the need for women from all walks of life to be able to access quality education and therefore do not want to limit these classes only to those facing significant need or challenging circumstances. We have therefore opened it up to all women in the region, with those who do not qualify for free registration attending as paying participants. This enables these classes to double as a funding avenue with all proceeds after covering costs, being fed directly back into the work of FSPS.
As Directors of FSPS, we would like to take this opportunity to thank a few key people who have made it possible to get to where we are today. Firstly, John Mikita and the team at Transit Graphics donated their time and skill to design our beautiful logo and early marketing material. Thank you for your patience, attention to detail and always being so prompt to respond! Secondly, Brooke Thomson, our web designer, has worked tirelessly to create a website that is incredibly lovely, easy to navigate and continually expanding as we frequently come up with new ideas and projects that she runs with, often on a tight timeline. Thank you for bringing our ideas to life and for your enthusiasm for working with us. Thirdly, Nathan Rieck from Neumann and Turnour Lawyers (and the anonymous donor who generously covered all our legal expenses) for guiding us through the process of obtaining Company and Charity Registration with full tax exemption – we could not have done this successfully without you and this is so key to being effective and sustainable into the future. Thanks for your wisdom and expertise throughout this process.
Finally, we would like to thank the many individuals and businesses who have financially supported us already, as well as those who have given or pledged their time and expertise to assist us both in this set-up phase or into the future when we are operational. Chris van der Spek deserves a special mention for his absolutely epic achievement of a successful Everest Challenge, and a huge fundraising effort in addition. We are so grateful for the community of support we have behind us in this endeavour, and the demonstration this is to the women in need who come to us, that they are not alone. We absolutely could not do this without you.
Sarah, Ingrid and Laura