In 2014, the Great Lakes area was the fourth highest hot spot for domestic and family violence in NSW, with a DV rate of 569 assaults per 100,000 of population*.
It’s these alarming statistics that drive Great Lakes Womens Shelter to provide a critical service to women and children experiencing homelessness, as well as domestic or family violence.
The not-for-profit group has now received a welcome funding boost of $2000 after taking out the June round of Greater Bank’s #GreaterMidNorthCoast community funding program.
Based in Forster, Great Lakes Womens Shelter assists families in accessing a range of support services, including legal, housing, financial, family support, counselling, as well as any other needs during their stay.
Great Lakes Womens Shelter Manager, Carly Ravenscroft, said that for some community groups a $2000 funding injection would been seen as relatively small, but in their case, it will go a long way in supporting their clients.
“There is so much we can do with this funding from Greater Bank and we plan to focus it on supporting the children who come to us,”
Carly Ravenscroft, Great Lakes Womens Shelter Manager
“We want to give them the opportunity to experience a range of activities and even outings that many other children would take for granted, such as a visit to the zoo, arts and craft lessons or even cooking classes with their mothers.
“Each of these experiences have therapeutic value, but equally important, they provide the children with the opportunity, even for a short amount of time, to escape the trauma and experience new and enjoyable activities in a safe environment.”
Carly said the Womens Shelter relies heavily on the support from the community to provide its services.
“We are very fortunate to receive some Government funding which allows us to keep the lights on and provide a basic shelter service for our clients. It’s funding such as this that enables us to offer these additional activities that can have such a positive impact on these peoples’ lives.”
Greater Bank’s Mid North Coast Regional Sales Manager, Jennifer Smith, said she was alarmed by the statistics around domestic and family violence, particularly in the Great Lakes area.
“It saddens me to think that so many women and children each day are subjected to domestic violence and are displaced from their home. These numbers have to change,” Jennifer said.
“Great Lakes Womens Shelter do an incredible job to support these vulnerable members of our community and give them an opportunity to get back on their feet and start their life again. I could not think of a more worthy recipient of our #GreaterMidNorthCoast funding.”
OzHarvest - Port Macquarie and Bridging the Gap Community Services Inc each received $500 from Greater Bank as the runners up for June.
The July round of the #GreaterMidNorthCoast program is now open with Great Lakes Children's Centre, Westpac rescue helicopter volunteers support group and Wingham Pony Club all competing for a share in the $3000 funding.
The public can cast their vote online at greater.com.au/greatermidnorthcoast or by visiting a Greater Bank branch. Voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday 28 July 2021.