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Thanks to a $3,500 grant from Enterprise & Training Company Limited (ETC) the Warrina Women & Children’s Refuge can provide women in the Coffs Coast with a Friendship Garden.

After receiving positive support from the Refuge Manager, Board and property landlord, Refuge Counsellor Lou Blackie approached ETC for financial assistance.

“It was fantastic when we got the news that we had been successful in obtaining funding for the project,” Ms Blackie said.

“The most incredible thank you to ETC for providing the opportunity, particularly because it’s reaching the needs of a marginalised group of culturally and linguistically diverse women in the Coffs Harbour Community.”

The purpose of the Friendship Garden is to provide local women and children with an opportunity to gather together, reduce isolation, be safe, learn new skills, and increase their confidence.

The funding has provided the edging for the garden beds, plants, and essential items for women such as sunblock, hats, and tools.

“Women will have the chance to develop garden skills, become mindful of plant growth cycles and learn ways of using produce,” Ms Blackie said.

The refuge is hoping that the word will spread in the community that this is a safe place for women and children to come to.

“We had twenty-one women come for our first morning tea to hear about the friendship garden. Out of those women, we’ve then had five women consistently come each week,” Ms Blackie said.

“Also, three of those women have engaged in counselling services here at the resource centre. That’s significant because it’s touched another group of women – we’ve opened the door for them.”

If you, or someone you know would benefit from the services of the Refuge, please call the centre on (02) 6652 9944.

ETC Deputy Chair Lorraine Mouafi said it was a pleasure to be able to support Warrina Women & Children’s Refuge.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations improve the social and economic development of local communities,” Ms Mouafi said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.

“Since 1989, ETC has placed over 53,000 Australians into jobs, trained more than 25,000 people, helped over 36,000 small businesses to start-up and grow, and contributed in excess of $25 million to the local communities in which we operate.”



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