Martha Monyping helped to create the Richmond Women’s Wellness Group in 2015. It’s a group that helps women to manage the challenges of lone parenting. After a modest beginning, 55 women now gather together every fortnight for conversation, information and support.
“I moved into public housing in Richmond two years ago from community housing in the city. It was good there but I couldn’t afford the rent and I was separate from my community.
I helped to form the Women’s Wellness Group because I know how isolating it can be as a young mum on your own. When I had my first set of twins five years ago I was on the public housing waiting list and I was away from the community and I realised that I needed a lot more support.
And then I thought that if it was like that for me it must be like that for many women. So the group tries to add that layer of support. Things as simple as sharing a cup of tea and having a conversation.
We get help with childcare through the Office of Housing so women can have at least some time to be together, to talk, and know that the kids are OK. It’s great when women say that coming to the group makes them feel good.
We are doing a project with a community quilt and through the project we are working on English language skills.
My message for young people in public housing is to look at the positives, and not be bothered about what other people say. I see the kids on the basketball courts every Friday and watching them play makes me think this area is friendly. We need to focus more on those things.”