THE new Mum’s Cottage in central Mandurah is already providing a home from home for women suffering domestic violence and their children.
The new drop in centre was the dream of Mandurah woman Kaye Seeber and took a year to become reality, with plenty of support from the community.
When the going gets tough, the cosy cottage is a safe place for women to drop in and relax, with its polished boards, comfortable furniture and big backyard.
It is a place where women can take their children, have a chat and feel supported by other community members in a family environment.
So far, women have arrived with up to five children or none at all and been assured of a warm welcome.
An outdoor room at the bottom of the big backyard has been turned into a playscape with a load of donated toys but child educator and volunteer Chelsea Gurrimurra wants the area to have as much to do with nature as possible.
“Play is a building block towards later learning,’’ Ms Gurrimurra said, who wants to provide an environment where children are themselves and can choose what they want to play and not be told what to play.
Among her plans are a dry creek bed, a sand pit and herb and veggie garden.
The community has got behind Mum’s Cottage but some items would still be very welcome.
The cottage needs the loan of a digger or volunteers to help dig a 4.4m x 2.4m x 60cm deep sandpit, corrugated iron and plastic sheets to seal the roof of the outdoor room, sand for the sand pit, treated railway sleepers in good condition, and black plastic sheeting and pebbles for the dry creek bed.
A councillor is on site at the cottage at all times and a referral service for those suffering domestic violence is available.