From the CEO

By Helen Silvia

Published on May 20, 2020

From the CEO - Helen Silvia

Community is everything. To say these past few months have been challenging would be an understatement. Yet if it was not for the support and resilience of our community, WAGEC could never have pivoted so quickly and deftly to adapt to the ever changing environment. Our client services, operations and workforce have all undergone significant change to ensure that as an essential service our doors remain open, whilst providing a physically and COVID-19 free space for women and families in need.

 We know that the need for our support from women and families is more important than ever before. In light of COVID-19, we have been seeing an increased need for our services and a steady flow of clients accessing WAGEC.

 These peaks in demand for service are cause for concern. However what worries us most are the women who can’t contact us at all. Social isolation means that many women and children who are trapped at home with a user of violence cannot safely reach out for help.

 This is why we expect that as the social and community isolation requirements begin to ease, we will see an even greater increase in the demand for our services. At WAGEC we are preparing for how we will respond to the increase in need.

 The COVID period has brought many challenges, but what I have been struck by are the ways in which our staff have adapted to our new environment with strength, collaboration and hope in order to ensure women continue being supported.

 Our ACCESS Program has been moved online, where women will work alongside a mentor supporting them on their own journey toward financial independence. We are excited about the silver linings involved in delivering this program online, which we hope will make the program more accessible into the future.

 Through our SEED program, kids and their mums have been supported with the digital tools and educational resources they need to continue learning and staying busy while in isolation. Our staff remain dedicated to supporting the little people in our services and addressing their unique needs in the face of COVID’s challenges.

 More than ever I am grateful for community and the people in our ecosystem who nurture us. Thank you to everyone who has checked in on WAGEC, asked us how our clients and staff are coping, and offered to do whatever is helpful to us. It is something special to feel the care that comes from our community.

My gratitude goes out to our supporters, to our staff and to the women who share their journeys with us. Thank you and please continue to take care of yourselves and one another.