20 February 2024

Chance for new friendly faces to help support South Coast women in need

| Claire Sams
Start the conversation
three young women talking in a garden

Bega’s Women’s Resource Centre is running a volunteer drive – and it wants you. Photo: Priscilla Du Preez.

A South Coast organisation is calling for new volunteer hands as it prepares to mark its 40th anniversary.

Bega’s Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) was established by Southern Women’s Group in 1985 and works to support women in hardship or crisis, and campaigns for the ending of gender-based violence and inequality.

Manager Jane Hughes said the WRC provided various forms of support, information and connection to women living across the Bega Valley.

“The centre is a space where women can access support, primarily, but also practical assistance,” she said.

“Women can use it in whatever way they need to.

“We try to make sure we can accommodate all women in a safe, warm, inviting and non-judgemental space.”

The organisation offers access to a computer, a shower and a washing machine, runs workshops and has emergency food and clothing for women in need.

The WRC is running a volunteer drive, calling for fresh faces – and fresh hands – to get involved.

READ ALSO Women of the Year nominee Monica Mudge creates ‘beacon of hope’ for South Coast community

Volunteer program and activities coordination project worker Jade Simpson said the volunteers could be the first face women in need saw when they visited the centre.

“One of their jobs is to answer the door, welcome the woman who is coming in, get her a cup of coffee and see if she needs to see someone specific,” she said.

“That’s a really big role – it’s about making sure a woman feels welcome and knows she won’t be judged for anything.”

Ms Simpson said volunteers could come from any stage of life.

“We find a lot of women are returning to work after having children or just not working for some period of time, but they want to do something,” she said.

“This is a really nice, safe space to come and re-engage with the community and a way for them to give back, sharing their skills and then working up to thinking, ‘Actually, I do want to return to work’.”

READ ALSO Op shopping at Vinnies returns to Bega as popular branch reopens

The volunteers work to support Ms Hughes, meaning she and the other team members can focus on offering more therapeutic care.

“They’re about making women feel safe and comfortable in the space, making sure they feel welcome and that they believe this is somewhere that they’re going to be valued and listened to and cared about,” she said.

“A lot of the women we see haven’t had a lot of that.”

Ms Hughes said the past 12 months had seen an increase in the number of women reaching out for help.

“We’ve certainly seen a lot more people coming through and looking for material assistance like food and clothing,” she said.

“A lot of women come in for the air conditioning and heating because they don’t have money to pay for that themselves, while others come to the space for a community connection and a feeling of being important.

“Then we will have women who come for very specific reasons, around need or crisis.

“That can be quite a broad range of women from all walks of life, it really depends on the issue that brought them in on the day.”

The WRC will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year and will host a range of events throughout 2024.

Those interested in volunteering at the Women’s Resource Centre can call 6492 1367 or email [email protected].

Southern Women’s Group is at 14 Peden Street in Bega.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.