It was surreal to finally bring our vision into the light and share our heart for caring for vulnerable women and children in our local area. The night was generously supported by Tim and Lara Kirk from Clonakilla with their supply of fine local wines and it was great to have the Queanbeyan Mayor Kenrick Winchester in attendance.
Our Medical Director, Dr Sarah Jensen, spoke about pregnancy having the potential to be a key turning point in a woman’s life, providing a tremendous opportunity for health care and service providers to make a real difference. Building a pregnant woman’s resilience by giving her medical, social and relational support through what can be an incredibly difficult time, decreases the risk factors that lead to further disadvantage and can lead to significant improvements both in her life but also for that of her child. First Steps Pregnancy Support seeks to be a place where these women can develop healthy peer and mentoring relationships, engage in holistic care for her physical and mental health, and be equipped to become a capable and confident mother despite the challenges she faces.
Vibrant mum and health professional, Ali, bravely shared her story (although she was unable to be there in person) about being a young pregnant woman living through domestic violence, homelessness and mental health challenges and her journey through the early years of parenting. She did not receive the support she needed during this challenging time but can now look back and see how this has made her stronger and more passionate in her role as a nurse and midwife, ensuring women like her are seen and heard, and receive the vital supports that she lacked. Her story will soon to be available on our blog to kick off our new series Stories of Motherhood.
We also took the opportunity to launch our Queanbeyan Region Pregnancy Support Resource Directory which was very well received. We had many local service providers, churches and community members present, all of whom gratefully took copies to use for the pregnant women in need that come through their doors.
We are so thankful for the support we received on the night, with over 70 people attending and many generous donations. This finance has allowed us to continue working towards opening our doors, covering many of the costs that already exist in the lead up to being operational. We also had many offers of help from those in attendance to donate their time and skill to support our work. It is wonderful to have the community getting behind us and supporting our vision for pregnancy support in the Queanbeyan Region.