New Babes mama Hollie and bub Roxie know the journey is worth every step. Photo by Miranda Mayle Photography.
Ever had that feeling that there's still so far to go?
It's 3000 km from Croydon to Cairns, and here at Babes right now, we're feeling every step of the journey!
No, of course we're not actually walking it - but establishing a new centre feels like a marathon (one of those ultra ones, through the deserts and for days!)
And right now we're at that hardest last stretch, where a helping hand can make all the difference.
Our crowdfund goal for opening The Babes Project Cairns is getting closer - and we can make it, with your incredible support.
Back in June (at our amazing 10th birthday!) we were so excited to announce plans for our new centre in Far North Queensland.
After nurturing Victorian mothers for a decade, we know the transformative impact of our holistic perinatal support, and we know that pregnant women and new mamas doing it tough in Cairns are crying out for that care.
But our decision to crowdfund to raise $68,000 in 34 days was always a big one - but necessary to ensure we can open on 16 October 2019.
“From our very first months of operation, supporting and empowering pregnant women and new mums, Babes was hearing about the need for perinatal support in communities right across Australia,” Ms Parker says.
“We’ve seen again and again how holistic and nurturing perinatal care can transform a woman’s experience of early motherhood. New mums need support to build confidence and skills for the challenges ahead – and we’re so excited to offer that to women in Cairns, too.”
Women across Far North Queensland will be able to access the full program face-to-face at the Cairns centre, at Shop 3, 21-23 Sheridan St, in the Cairns CBD.
And so importantly, we've got experienced local social worker Cristy Mock on board as centre manager. As a former Cairns State High School chaplain and a foster care support coordinator, she knows the many challenges that women in the region face, and she's got runs on the board walking alongside them.
Just like our Victorian centres, The Babes Project Cairns will also train local and committed volunteers to deliver our perinatal program.
We've already had support for our Start Some Good crowdfund pour in from across Australia, from so many people who have seen the difference that Babes makes. But there's a long way to go.
Ms Parker is confident in the generosity of so many supporters, and said that the new centre would ensure mums and bubs in Cairns could access the best start possible.
In 2017, births to teen mothers in Cairns was at a rate of 25.9 per 1000 births, ahead of 15.0 Queensland-wide, and 11.8 in Greater Brisbane. One in four teen mums nationally identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and community agencies have called for more comprehensive support for young mums.
“Negative attitudes around having children at a young age, or without a partner, or in a range of challenging situations, are often leaving women to raise children alone and vulnerable – and that’s a bad outcome for the mother, and for the baby,” Ms Parker says.
“Isolation and overwhelm for new mothers is a problem right across Australian communities, and our program graduates are the thriving proof that local, face-to-face, and independent support really works to get new mums through tough times.”
If you want to transform lives for new mums and their bubs, now is the time. Please support our Start Some Good crowdfund, and please spread the word as far and wide as you can (on Facebook or Instagram, even!): Cairns mamas, we're on our way, and we're ready to make a difference.