8 May 2020

Give a gift to Karinya House for Mother's Day

| Karyn Starmer
Mother and child

Every woman who is pregnant or has a new baby should be surrounded with the support she needs. Photo: Supplied.

Sunday is Mother’s Day and Karinya House is asking Canberrans to consider giving a gift to help some other mothers this year.

The community-based organisation is facing a funding shortfall and is forecasting an estimated loss of close to $60,000 of the net funding normally generated by their Annual Mother’s Day Gala Dinner and May Day Appeal now impacted by COVID-19.

Karinya House Executive Director Marie-Louise Corkhill says these events are their major source of fundraising revenue. Without the top-up of funds, she says they will have to review their services.

“We know coronavirus is impacting our community, it is hard for us to ask for support financially but with our events cancelled we are hoping our friends and partners are still in a position to continue to support us. Homelessness, pregnancy and birth do not stop for anything, including COVID-19,” Ms Corkhill said.

She says the service, providing supported accommodation, transitional housing and outreach services to pregnant women who are in crisis remains fully operational.

Marie-Louise Corkhill

Karinya House xecutive Director, Marie-Louise Corkhill. Photo: Region Media.

“We have women in residence, we are supporting women living in the community. As this appeal gets underway, we are walking alongside 44 women, 28 babies under 12-months-old and 30 children under 10-years-old, and we have 10 babies due.

“The physical presence of compassion, love and patience makes a difference to the women we work alongside. The women we support are often socially and physically isolated in normal times. During these unprecedented times, their sense of isolation and the level of risk can be compounded. It really is vital that our team can continue to be engaged and to be able to walk alongside the women we support.”

Karinya House reports they are seeing more women with more complex situations and more women with babies around the five to 18-month age range, rather than just women who are pregnant or with a newborn.

“Every woman who is pregnant or has a new baby should be surrounded with the support she needs. However, not every woman has shelter, stability or support. Some may be at risk of violence, experience homelessness or be completely isolated. These experiences are exacerbated during a crisis.

“The key aspect to the work we do at Karinya House is the time and presence of caseworkers. This is intensive work focused on being with an individual for the long term, in whatever way they need.

“We have had to adjust how we work to meet the COVID-19 restrictions and working remotely is bringing new challenges. For some of the women we work with, connecting virtually brings risks. Some may not be in a safe space to be able to speak to our team via phone or video conference or they may not have access to data,” Ms Corkhill said.

“We know that every charity is under financial stress at the moment but any donation you are able to make to our Mother’s May Day Appeal will help.

“Perhaps consider making a donation as a gift for your mother, or to remember your mother, or you might donate the amount you would spend having lunch with your mum, filling up your car with petrol or anything else you are not spending your money on during this period of restricted movement and physical distancing.”

For more information or to make a donation visit the Karinya House Mother’s May-Day Appeal.

All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

Original Article published by Karyn Starmer on The RiotACT.

Weekly Wrap

Canberra is renowned for its restaurants, bars, arts and culture. If you want to know what's going on in and around the nation's capital, sign up for our weekly newsletter and have all the best of the Canberra community delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.