Sue Horwood: CityLife Community Care
Sue gives struggling mums a recipe for life
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled Citylife Community Care to purchase new cooking equipment for the Life Skills cooking program. They are also looking to buy a new printable whiteboard and a laptop to help teach mums about meal planning on a budget, buying what’s on special and looking up recipes that use those ingredients.
When the volunteers at Citylife Community Care teach mums how to cook as part of the life-skills program, the exchange is about much more than putting a meal on the table.
The volunteers get an invaluable opportunity to connect with the mum and the mum learns invaluable lessons about parenting, home organisation and, of course, cooking.
The immediate impact is to relieve the mum’s stress. But equally important is the longer-term benefit, says Sue Horwood, whose role is to assess the needs of mothers in distress and match them with a more experienced volunteer to mentor, support and encourage them.
Many of the volunteers are unemployed and isolated and have an opportunity to experience the joy of giving to someone else. They receive training and a confidence boost through their work, often enabling them to apply for formal employment.
Recently a former volunteer brought Sue a gift and said she would never have found a job without her experience as a volunteer.
Sue finds the connection between the mums and volunteers heart-warming to watch.
“I’ve found that people who are downtrodden are so generous and giving to other people,” she says.
“We have people who are hanging on by a shoestring and yet will invite somebody else who is in a terrible situation into their own home, and that’s because they know what it feels like.”
Sue did a “happy dance” when she heard she had been voted a Westfield Local Hero.
“So, you give people a lot more choices about their eating but also a lot more choices about their spending,” says Sue.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.