High demand for Olivia’s Place
Olivia’s Place in Warragul has experienced a 250 per cent increase in demand to support local families over the past six months.
Since July 1, the not-for-profit pregnancy and early parenting support service has rehomed nursery and maternity items valued at more than $18,000 to local families experiencing hardship.
This figure comes close to the total items rehomed for the entire 2015/16 financial year - and it’s only getting busier.
Olivia’s Place ran a social media campaign in mid-December seeking gifts for families who had decided not to “do” Christmas.
These families simply couldn’t afford presents under the tree. Some had newborn babies due or just arrived whilst others had two to five children.
Gifts were handed out in addition to a record amount of material aid including cots, prams, car restraints, infant and maternity clothing and other baby necessities.
Items valued at over $6000 were donated in the first three weeks of December alone.
A local mother praised Olivia’s Place for supporting her and her newborn son.
“Would I be watching over a beautiful baby?” she said. “Would I be able to take him home? Would he have everything he needs? Olivia’s Place gave me a reason to answer yes to all these questions. They sat by me and gave me a shoulder to lean on when I felt like I couldn’t do it. They gave strength to push through some really tough times. For this, I am forever in their debt. Their work should never go unnoticed. Cannot wait for the time that I can give back the help Olivia’s Place has given me.”
Olivia’s Place also received a Christmas present via a $10,000 Andrews Foundation grant. This will be used for material aid.
Recently the service also purchased 16 cots and mattresses thanks to the Bunyip Community Opportunity Shop and another local business. This enabled every request for a safe place to sleep being met.
With the increase in demand, Olivia’s Place has outgrown its Barkly St premises and will move to a new location at 34 Queen St, Warragul next week.
Olivia’s Place also won the Baw Baw Shire community contribution award for cultural achievement at the Baw Baw Shire Australia Day awards.
Local resident Mags Light (left) presents a new motorbike to Craig, Montanna and Dakota Porter of Drouin South. It helps ease Montanna’s devastation at having her motorbike stolen last year.