A SUPPORT service helping migrant women settle in Perth’s northern suburbs celebrated its 10th anniversary last week.
Welcome 2 Perth 4 Women secretary Margaret Bizzell said there had been a huge influx of migrants to Perth in the last 10 to 15 years.
“This is not always easy for women especially for single women or those whose partners are working – they can feel isolated and lonely at times,” Mrs Bizzell said.
She said it all began with Trisha Offereins and Alison Hall who moved to Perth and realised they could help other new arrivals by providing a place for them to meet, make friends, network and help each other settle in.
“The aim of the group is to help new arrivals settle happily and integrate into the community,” she said.
“On their first visit, ladies are given a free coffee and a welcome pack with general information. They are then introduced to others from different countries who are also new to Perth.”
She said about 25 ladies meet up with their new friends on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at Hillarys Boat Harbour’s Gloria Jean’s Coffees.
“Since inception in 2005 a few thousand ladies have attended our coffee mornings and found a group of caring and helpful ladies willing to listen and share experiences,” she said.
Mrs Bizzell said some people had been coming for years when they have a free few hours on a Wednesday while others joined them just a few times.
She said those who attended were of all ages and nationalities, including from the UK, US, New Zealand, Namibia, India, Malaysia, Sweden, Germany, Italy as well as Australians who had moved interstate or from country areas.
“To be celebrating our 10th anniversary is so encouraging as it has been proven not only by testimonials that have been received but from comments from those coming to the coffee mornings that there is still a need for the organisation,” Mrs Bizzell said.
She said their committee, founders and previous committee members were very excited to have reached the milestone.
“It is proof of the ongoing value this group has in the community,” she said.
The non-profit group has received grants from the City of Joondalup and Lottery West for projects over the years but is mainly funded by volunteers and supported by Hillarys Boat Harbour’s Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Subway stores.
Those interested in joining a coffee morning, run from 10am, can send an email to welcome2perth4women.org.|au or visit their Facebook page.