THE Daughters of the West program is giving Ballarat's women the confidence to move in the right direction and at the same time creating lifelong bonds.
The program, which has been running for three years, is rounding up in Ballarat for 2019.
This year, the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, Sports Central and City of Ballarat funded program has seen up to 70 women become involved.
Among those is Jackie Powell.
"I came across it on Facebook, I'd heard of it and my husband had done Sons of the West a few years ago and he said it would be good to get involved, maybe just what I needed," Ms Powell said..
"For me, there'd been a broad range of experiences and circumstances so just being able to get out there and meet people and just get involved has been amazing.
Ms Powell said the variety of people who become involved had been an eye-opener to her and she praised the work of project coordinator Bridget Franc for her tireless effort to support women in the community
"There's such a huge variety of people that come and I guess the number one thing is it's a safe space, it's inclusive, nobody is prioritised over anyone else," she said.
"Bridget's energy is amazing. From early on I wanted to reach out and touch base with her on I've seen her as someone who can help me move forward. I just love it, I'm sad it's coming to an end for this year."
Ms Franc said each week participants come together for a two hour session.
"We look at priority health issues impacting on women and we work with local services for example Ballarat Community Health and Women's Health Grampians," she said.
"Also - and probably more so than that - we are building relationships. We are supporting these women to come into a safe environment where they are encouraged to participate and give things a go, things that they might not normally have an opportunity to try.
"Each week we also invite members of the group to talk about initiatives that they may be involved in within the community, so it's a space for sharing, and creating opportunities. We try and create pathways, opportunities."
To enquire about upcoming programs or be kept in the loop about future updates email firstname.lastname@example.org
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