Es­ther helps in trou­bled times

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

FASH­ION and busi­ness skills are be­ing used by The Es­ther Foun­da­tion to help girls who have ex­pe­ri­enced do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, sub­stance abuse and other is­sues.

The char­ity’s Re­cy­cled Bou­tique opened near the in­ter­sec­tion of Barker Av­enue and Can­ning High­way, Como dur­ing March af­ter pre­vi­ously be­ing in a house on Pre­ston Street and a building on Mends Street.

Bou­tique man­ager and Vic­to­ria Park res­i­dent Kim­ber­ley Gib­son is among the women who have gone through the pro­gram.

“I was work­ing in the es­cort in­dus­try for about 11 years and I was ad­dicted to meth, but then I heard about the pro­gram,” she said. d468177

“It’s helped turn my life around, I’ve been able to work at the foun­da­tion now, study hos­pi­tal­ity and now I’m go­ing to do a diploma in busi­ness man­age­ment.”

Ms Gib­son said the idea be­hind the bou­tique was to help women from dif­fi­cult back­grounds.

“There are 18 girls un­der­neath me who al­ter­nate shifts ev­ery fort­night and it’s im­por­tant for them be­cause they de­velop so­cial and busi­ness skills,” she said.

“They are be­ing trained to deal with real-life so­lu­tions; they’ve come from back­grounds such as self-harm or drug abuse.

“We have been blessed with lots of sup­port­ers and the prof­its go back to the foun­da­tion.”

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme

Kim­ber­ley Gib­son (cen­tre) with res­i­dents and bou­tique staff Emily Pot­ter (19) and Laura Wannberg (28).

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