Nicolle Edwards - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Reducing cycle of domestic violence
Inspiring. Passionate. Determined.
Nicolle Edwards decided to take-action after hearing about a family in need of help as they fled domestic violence.
Her solution was to create RizeUp, a Gold Coast not-for-profit that has since provided life-changing, practical support to more than 1070 families across Queensland.
Nicolle and her husband started from their garage, putting together packs for families staying in refuges.
RizeUp now has over 520 volunteers and support between five and eight families per week, via strong partnerships with specialist domestic violence services across Queensland.
RizeUp sets up and furnishes homes, where families can focus on rebuilding their lives, and supports children as they start at a new school.
"RizeUp's programs reduce the likelihood that the families will return to the perpetrator due to financial hardship or lack of resources," says Nicolle.
"They also reduce the likelihood of homelessness, provide a stable home environment and increase a sense of belonging and an anchor for recovery."
Many of RizeUp's volunteers have survived domestic violence themselves and believe Nicolle is helping to break the cycle of domestic violence.
Believing that no one organisation can lead the fight against domestic violence, she mentors other organisations and encourages them to establish additional programs that will help to create safe, sustainable outcomes for at-risk families.
"It is imperative we wrap as much support around these vulnerable families as we can," Nicolle says.
The $10,000 will be spent providing counselling and psychology support for survivors of domestic violence and their families, as they are leaving a shelter and are moving into their new homes - filling a crucial and possible deadly gap. RizeUp will provide over 50 counselling hours to survivors – including young people - of family and domestic violence. This program will be provided in collaboration with key specialist services and refuges
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here