A "Heart space" to help broken lives
The Sebastian Foundation’s latest project is located in a fairly affluent part of Sydney, the Eastern Suburbs, where it was a surprise for us to learn that two women every night are at risk of losing their lives to domestic violence. We don’t often think of the challenges faced by women and families living in well off areas who are experiencing violent situations, however their plight is obviously equally heartbreaking. The imbalance of power in a violent relationship means people feel just as trapped and equally need help and advice in a nurturing environment.
The Bondi Beach Cottage is an amazing resource. It operates as a day care and community centre providing support to everyday mums and dads, but most critically gives families who are living with domestic violence a resource centre where they can seek advice, help and guidance, all while having their children beautifully cared for in the childcare centre.
The Sebastian Foundation has helped out in a number of ways, with support at Christmas to help women who have recently left their home situations to put food on the table and presents under the tree, a revamp of their counselling rooms, the kitchen and also with involvement in their Next Employment service, helping women who have left their violent situations behind and are now looking to get back to the workforce.
An employee from the service wrote to us to say: "I walked into the Lily Room today and felt a bit weepy because I realise that you have recognised that our clientele deserve the very best and you have given us the ability to offer them a place which is both safe and nurturing but also beautiful too... There are very few words to articulate the kind of hell hese women live with - but as someone who does not have to live through that I feel I have a reponsiblity to help them in all the ways we can and I want to thank you for acknowledging that with your generosity."
Once more thanks go to our wonderful friends at Freedom Kitchens and also to A Charitable Heart who donated funds from their gala dinner in September 2017 to this project.