Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — I am pleased that I have been appointed as ambassador for a volunteer organisation called The Babes Project, which supports women who have little or no support throughout their pregnancy and until their little one is 12 months old.
The Babes Project develops safe spaces for women where they can learn, grow and develop. This includes pregnancy support services and accommodation. The Babes Project consists of pregnancy support workers, midwives, a social worker, a counsellor and general volunteers. It was founded by Helen Parker, who at a young age faced her own crisis pregnancy and found there was very little if any support for women in circumstances such as hers. That experience inspired Helen to start The Babes Project to ensure that all women have the opportunity to be supported throughout their pregnancies.
There are currently 50 young women in need of support on The Babes Project waiting list. That means without government support and community support, that is where those women will stay — waiting for support. These 50 young women could miss out on the support they need, and that includes having a support person during the birth.
The Babes Project provides support like antenatal information and education, with weekly or fortnightly appointments; advocacy and referral; life skills education, including budgeting and finances, cooking and nutrition, and first aid; material assistance; professional counselling; social support; and lunch groups with other women. There is also postnatal information and education, including at‑home visits, extended care for the mother and baby, regular appointments and goal‑based intervention. I look forward to my role, which includes engaging with the wider community.