Bega mothers group puts value on free time

At Tuesday's Just for Mums social group are (from left) childcare worker Linda Fowler and group organisers Kat Cetkovic, Kellie Bateman and Valerie Schmid-Oke.

At Tuesday's Just for Mums social group are (from left) childcare worker Linda Fowler and group organisers Kat Cetkovic, Kellie Bateman and Valerie Schmid-Oke.

FREE time is a valuable commodity for mothers of young children.

It’s no wonder then a group of mums is currently enjoying a program of activities designed to encourage new skills and socialising – while the kids are kept occupied elsewhere!

The Just for Mums social group is an initiative of Far South Coast Family Support Services.

On Tuesdays, the group meets in the Bega Uniting Church hall between 10am and 1pm, where the children are looked after by a dedicated childcare worker while the mums enjoy a chat, various activities and then finish up with a shared meal – all for free.

Last Tuesday, the activity of choice was sewing, but other things on the program agenda have included the Playability toy library, and visits from health professionals offering advice and information.

Organiser Kellie Bateman said the group is open to anyone and while the current program is now partway through an eight-week schedule, there is no mandate to attend every Tuesday.

Ms Bateman encouraged more participants so consideration could be given to keep the program running beyond the eight weeks.

“The social isolation of mums was an impetus originally,” Ms Bateman said of Just for Mums, which began three years ago in the Women’s Resource Centre.

“The emphasis is on the mums to have free time to spend on themselves.

“They have some input and choice in the activities they would like to do or skills they would like to learn.

“Free lunch is provided and nutritional food provided to the children.

“And free continuous play childcare is provided to enhance development.

“A lot don’t always have access to those as free services,” she said.

For more details on Just for Mums, contact the Far South Coast Family Support Service on 6492 3411.

Just for Mums highlight of the week

Enjoying sewing activities at Just for Mums are Alaina Handran and youth and family worker with the Far South Coast Family Support Service Catherine Ubrihien.

Enjoying sewing activities at Just for Mums are Alaina Handran and youth and family worker with the Far South Coast Family Support Service Catherine Ubrihien.

ALAINA Handran of Pambula says Just for Mums has become one of the highlights of her week.

“It gives me a break – the kids are kept happy, they can see me, but I get to do something I enjoy as well,” she said.

“I’m very grateful they have this type of service in the area.

“It’s part of the week I look forward to now.”

Ms Handran said she has a sewing machine at home, but doesn’t get to use it much – “the kids won’t let me!”

She sais she was looking forward to coming each week and getting to know the other mums better.

“It’s nicer than being home alone.”

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