Making a splash
FOR David Maybury, the SPLASH sole parent support network has provided great help over the past two years, not only for himself, but especially for his eight-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.
So, Mr Maybury hopes the fact that SPLASH funding has now run out will not see the end of the program, but rather be an opportunity to expand it when more funding is found.
"It takes a village to raise a child, a whole community," Mr Maybury said.
"Social isolation is a common theme for sole parents, they need to interact with other people, and children, too.
"Elizabeth looks forward to the interaction with other children, it's most valuable."
SPLASH project officer Kim Saunders said sole parents found it encouraging to meet other people going through similar experience.
"SPLASH tried to encourage a family environment, with the whole group as an extended family," she said.
"But as well as social events, we also provided practical support like phone and electricity vouchers, advocating on parents' behalf and referring them to other services."
Anglicare's executive director for the North Coast, Wayne Johnson, is now seeking funding to keep SPLASH going.
"SPLASH was a communitydriven initiative that emerged from a local need," he said.
"It's difficult to raise children without support, and while there are a lot of successful sole parents, many struggle. The social and community impact is staggering and the cost is far reaching, into health, mental health, education, and contact with the justice system."
Anglicare will run a forum with sole parents to workshop new ideas and find out local needs. Call 6651 8623.