NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRES: A CUPPA WITH BENEFITS
We know FIFO families can be so busy making the FIFO lifestyle work, you may not realise what other support is out there in the community. Facebook and social media can be great, but other times a shared cuppa and chat is what’s needed.
There is so much information at our fingertips it can be confusing to know where to start. Sometimes the best place to look is close to home and we thought it would be good to see what kind of services are in your local community.
A great place to begin is with your local council. Listed on their website will be a Community Services directory with contact numbers. You can find everything from financial counselling, sports groups, family and children’s health services and community events.
The Family Development Officer at Stirling Council, Sarah Cairns, said many of the services available would suit needs of FIFO families.
Sarah understood that often FIFO families may not have extended family in Perth, “We are running intergenerational sessions for families that may not have grandparents here in Perth. It’s wonderful to see the older generation enjoying sharing time with families and children”.
At times councils may even have an event specifically for FIFO workers and their families. It’s worth having a chat to your Community Development Officer and ask them about what is coming up.
Another fantastic option is local neighbourhood or learning centres. These community centres are open to anyone in the community who would like to join. Close by, low cost and sometimes with childcare, the neighbourhood centres are a wonderful way to connect with others in your community.
Luckily there is an easy way to find your local neighbourhood centre if you’re not sure where to begin. Linkwest is the umbrella body for all the community, neighbourhood and learning centres in Western Australia. You can find your own local centre in a simple postcode search here.
These welcoming centres can offer short courses in anything from learning the guitar, painting, bread making, meditation, photography and much more. There are also guest speakers on a wide range of topics and support groups.
“I started coming to The Meeting Place with my children to join in with the mobile toy play group. Then I decided to try the yoga classes and ended up volunteering a few hours a week at the learning centre! ” said Kate.
You never know….. you may even want start your own FIFO group at the local neighbourhood centre!
“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met”. William Butler Yeats