Families call for cost of living relief

Chelsea Ruwaard with six-month-old Grace and Wesley (3).
Chelsea Ruwaard with six-month-old Grace and Wesley (3).

Mrs Ruwaard and husband Brent have three children under the age of seven ” Samuel (6), Wesley (3) and Grace (6 months).

The most recent Census statistics show the average family living in Brand live in a mortgaged four-bedroom house and have a median weekly income of $1335.

On Monday , the Warnbro Community and Family Centre invited local families to join in a range of kid-friendly activities to help celebrate National Families Week.

Mrs Ruwaard said despite her husband having a reliable income, it was hard to find a happy balance with the constant financial demands families are forced to meet.

‘Our kids always come first but sometimes it is hard to find a happy balance between parenting and taking some time to re-charge the batteries,’ she said.

‘If the Government would help families with more free activities like playgroups, it would ease the pressures a |little because sometimes that money isn’t available after the bills and groceries.’

Rockingham Salvation Army officer Darrell Wilson said the biggest challenges for local families were constant increases in rent.

‘Most of the families who come to us for assistance are single parents with children,’ he said.

‘As families continue to struggle under the strain of financial pressure, the fear is that many will either cut back on the basic necessities or run up debt to cover daily expenses.’

If you are looking for additional assistance, the Salvation Army can help with food vouchers, utilities, furniture, clothing and financial counselling.