Friends with Dignity to host High Tea with Friends in East Fremantle to raise profile in WA


Friends with Dignity chief executive, founder and director Manuela Whitford, director and chief operating officer Zoe Scharenguivel and director and chief financial officer Julia McKenna.
Friends with Dignity chief executive, founder and director Manuela Whitford, director and chief operating officer Zoe Scharenguivel and director and chief financial officer Julia McKenna.

MAKING a practical difference to the lives of all domestic violence victims is the goal for organisation Friends with Dignity.

Expanding nationwide, the organisation is hosting a High Tea with Friends in East Fremantle on Sunday May 6.

Founder and chief executive Manuela Whiford, who started working in prisons, saw the amount of women seeking refuge.

“I realised just how many of the women were seeking refuge from some abuse that was at home,” she said.

“I started researching the prevalence of domestic violence and I was shocked.

“I saw there was gap between leaving abuse and seeking refuge.

“It was at the time there was a limit in how long survivors could stay in refuges and I wanted to help address the gap.”

The not-for-profit organisation runs three programs: a sanctuary program, urgent requests and a little friends program.

The clinical nurse said the sanctuary program refurnished homes before survivors and their families moved in.

“When some people leave abusive homes they can have nothing so we furnish their homes with basic things like fridges, beds, a dinner room table,” she said.

“It’s wonderful when we have helped some families and then they donate furniture back to the program so they spread it forward.”

Director and chief financial officer Julia McKennasaid the event was held to expand Friends with Dignity’s services to WA.

“Our little friends program, which includes scholarships for children both academically and co-curricular, is nationwide and we had a flurry of applications from WA,” she said.

“The feedback we got was that our services were needed in Perth; that is why we are hosting the high tea to raise awareness and to get as many volunteers as possible.

“Our ultimate goal is that we would be all out of the job, for us not to have to do what we do; I hope in the future that will be the case.”

WHAT: High Tea with Friends with key speaker Tracey Jewel from Married at First Sight
WHEN: Sunday May 6 from 12pm to 3pm
WHERE: Swan Yacht Club East Fremantle
TICKETS: http://www.friendswithdignity.org.au/htwf/ or https://perthtickets.com.au/event/6196

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