With 9 days until the end of our Save Babes Frankston campaign, one of our woman tells her story. Hear from Shayal how vital The Babes Project was to her journey into motherhood.
Shayal was five months pregnant when she separated from her husband, as a victim of ongoing family violence in her marriage.
Police put an intervention order in place for the safety of her and her child.
“It was just my four-year-old and me, and I did it because there was no other choice, there was a lot of family violence,” she explains.
“That was in February but then in May the house we lived in collapsed and it was no longer liveable. It really felt like my world had fallen apart.”
It was at that time a friend recommended The Babes Project in Frankston, and Shayal finally started to feel prepared for her birth and her baby.
Supporting her with practical things like a car seat and links to emergency housing, and big things like a connection to a Birth for Humanity doula to be her birth partner, Shayal says Babes “helped me in a time when there was no one with me.”
Now, The Babes Project needs help to keep our doors open in Frankston - so we're here for mums like Shayal, when there's no other options.
Will you help us Save Babes Frankston?
Shayal said emotional support from Babes was vital through that tough time.
“When I talked with Emma, she supported me a lot with the information, but emotionally she helped and encouraged me a lot as well,” she explains.
“I was literally alone, so just having someone listen to your story does boost your confidence, and helps clear your mind.”
Living in Australia since she married in 2015, and having her first baby in 2016, Shayal says connecting with Babes was “a big eye-opener” that she could reach out for help.
“I lost everything when we separated, because my life had been built to rely on my husband for everything in this country,” she says.
“Over the course of our relationship, there was a lot of abuse and family violence and I felt scared and intimidated. But what troubled me more was that my elder son was witnessing all these. I felt really helpless.”
“When I talked to Emma at Babes, she would always end the conversation telling me to stay strong, and say ‘you are brave, you’re doing what you need to do’.”
“She encouraged me when I was losing hope, and feeling like it was too much to take on.”
Baby Aldridge arrived in June 2020, and now Shayal and her young family are safe and secure.
The future is much brighter thanks to Shayal's strength, that she grew with support from The Babes Project.
Our Save Babes Frankston appeal needs to raise $100,000 by Mother’s Day, so women like Shayal can access free perinatal support when they need it most, and thrive in motherhood.
The pandemic has dismantled so many of our fundraising streams - so we need you to help us.
When you visit our Save Babes Frankston page, you can register as a fundraiser - and ask your friends and family to support this cause too.
So please help keep our doors open, donate and be here for local families desperate to get the best start to raising their babies.
Donate and register to fundraise at Save Babes Frankston now, and please share the campaign as far and wide as you can.
All images by Miranda Mayle Photography.