Yarn groups of­fer chance to con­nect

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

A se­ries of reg­u­lar com­mu­nity gath­er­ings de­signed to give peo­ple a safe and sup­port­ive space to con­nect with lo­cal ser­vices has started up in Tom Price and Wakathuni.

Tom Price’s Nin­tirri Cen­tre has part­nered with Mis­sion Aus­tralia, Gu­mala Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion and IBN to run yarn groups.

The in­for­mal weekly meet-ups are a chance for res­i­dents to meet new peo­ple, share ideas and speak to ser­vice groups in town.

The ses­sions are run­ning on a pilot pro­gram this term and, if suc­cess­ful, may be ex­panded to in­clude the Bel­lary Springs and Youn­galeena Bun­jima com­mu­ni­ties.

Nin­tirri Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive James Jarvis said yarn groups would pro­mote lis­ten­ing, trust and strong re­la­tion­ships be­tween com­mu­nity mem­bers and ser­vice providers.

“Peo­ple see en­gage­ment as an out­come, but it’s not, it’s a start­ing point,” he said.

“It’s a start­ing point to ac­tively in­volve com­mu­nity mem­bers in de­sign­ing the ser­vices they want, not the ones we think they need.”

Nin­tirri Cen­tre fam­ily vi­o­lence ser­vice co-or­di­na­tor and coun­sel­lor Dawn Thomp­son said the groups were based on a model she used while man­ag­ing a women’s safe house in the Kim­ber­ley.

“The aim of the yarn group was to pro­vide a safe place for women to con­nect with other women and re­ceive sup­port, ad­vo­cacy and link with agen­cies vis­it­ing on out­reach pro­grams,” she said.

“It is a pre­ven­ta­tive model aimed at pro­vid­ing the path­ways and sup­port for in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties to seek as­sis­tance and be proac­tive about their safety, health and well­be­ing.”

Tom Price yarn groups run dur­ing the school term.

Ses­sions are each Thurs­day from 10am-noon in the Nin­tirri lounge and at Wakathuni on Tues­days from 9am-11am.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to nin­tirri.org.au.

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