Southwick pledges NCJWA boost
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Empowering new mothers

Southwick pledges NCJWA boost

Funding would be used to expand the NCJWA's Caring Mums program, a non-denominational, free service, providing emotional support to new mothers and pregnant women, and provide emotional support to more new mums across the Jewish community.

From left: Emily Nadelman, Maria, Lisa Ezekiel, David Southwick, Hayley Southwick and Michelle Kornberg.
From left: Emily Nadelman, Maria, Lisa Ezekiel, David Southwick, Hayley Southwick and Michelle Kornberg.

A Matthew Guy Liberal government will invest $181,000 in the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA) Victoria if elected.

The funding would be used to expand the NCJWA’s Caring Mums program and provide emotional support to more new mums across the Jewish community.

The Caring Mums program is a non-denominational, free service, providing emotional support to new mothers and pregnant women. The program matches trained volunteers to mums with the goal of developing secure, trusting relationships while offering both proactive and reactive care by empowering these women.

Liberal Member for Caulfield, David Southwick said, “There’s nothing more rewarding than being a parent. But it comes with significant challenges. Pregnancy can cause a whole range of difficulties for mothers, including postnatal depression.

“Empowering and elevating women is one of the reasons I got involved in politics. Caring Mums fills a critical gap in supporting new mums and pregnant women.”

Caring Mums’ main objective is to improve mothers’ health and wellbeing while building their confidence to strengthen the bonds with their babies. Volunteers provide mentoring, validation, normalisation and encouragement, by bearing witness to their mother’s journey of motherhood.

A Caring Mums participant spoke of her experience with the program.

“Motherhood … it’s a huge change not only physically, but mentally. You’re not working; you’ve got a young person who is totally dependent on you; your sense of self changes as an individual as well. It’s a very vulnerable time, and relationships change; relationship roles change … Having a Caring Mums volunteer there provided an outlet to talk about all those changes,” the participant said.

Over the past 12 months, the NCJWA’s Caring Mums program delivered 3293 hours of emotional support to isolated mums, 592 hours of professional supervision for volunteers, 460 hours of training for new Caring Mums volunteers, and matched 92 new mums with a Caring Mums volunteer

CEO of NCJWA Vic Lisa Ezekiel welcomed Southwick’s commitment of funding.

“David Southwick has been a huge supporter of our work over the years and is an ally for women,” she told The AJN.

“This funding will allow us to provide this essential service to hundreds of more mums. Without the caring mums program, these mums would otherwise fall through the cracks, feeling alone and isolated on their motherhood journey.

“We have recently been inundated with referrals and this money will ensure every new mum is matched with a caring mum volunteer, providing them with much-needed emotional support.”

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