It’s a place where families can transition from difficult times to a brighter future.
Mums’ Cottage, a not-for-profit community service in the Hunter Region, was established almost eight years ago to empower mothers amid an increase in societal demands and expectations placed upon them.
The organisation knew that, once a mother was assisted, companioned and offered hope within a welcoming environment, she gained a sense of purpose, which had a positive effect on her children and her self-worth.
From humble beginnings, Mums’ Cottage provides access to mentors, disability services, legal and financial guidance, case coordination, health care, parenting programs, and combined family events.
It also helps find emergency accommodation, clothing, household items, and food.
Mums’ Cottage Coordinator, Sister Helen-Anne Johnson, says companionship is one of the facility’s most important aspects.
“There are people here who are interested in them and have walked a similar journey to them,” Sister Johnson says.
“It’s an opportunity for mums to find a slot where they fit in and be accepted.
“That helps them grow and gives mothers the best chance to live life to the fullest.
“Whoever they are, wherever their journey has taken them, they are here to grow.”
After a long search to find a suitable location, a positive meeting between Uniting Church leaders and a Sisters of St Joseph’s leader – Sister Lauretta Baker – prompted the signing of a contract and renovation works on the Uniting Church Hall at Holmesville.
Mums’ Cottage, which has celebrated its eighth birthday, is now backed by about 30 volunteers, while it has developed a working relationship with other service providers, not-for-profits, neighbourhood centres, lawyers, Oz Harvest, and TAFE.
Despite its success, the facility needs to raise funds each year to cover ongoing costs.
“We’re not funded by any organisation – everything we need, we have to have a fundraiser for,” Sister Johnson says.
Mums’ Cottage has organised a movie night for Thursday 2 April at Lake Cinema Boolaroo (62 Main Road, Boolaroo).
It will feature feel-good flick Military Wives; arrive at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.