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Kingston Charitable Fund grant helps family violence victims

20 June 2016

Kingston’s Charitable Fund has awarded $29,000 to the Emerge Women and Children’s Support Network to help families experiencing domestic violence.

Mayor Tamsin Bearsley recently presented the group with a $29,000 Innovation Grant - the largest grant offered by the Kingston Charitable Fund – at Kingston’s annual fundraising gala. More than $20,000 was raised at this year’s event.

“Family violence is a growing problem in Kingston,” Cr Bearsley said. “Emerge will hold workshops to help 75 children and mothers of domestic abuse and we are delighted to support this important work. It will deliver clear benefits to child victims and their families in Kingston.

Emerge Women and Children’s Support Network is the only independent specialist domestic violence service located in Melbourne’s Southern suburbs.

Emerge CEO Paula Westhead said there was an important need for this work, especially in Kingston: “We are grateful for the grant. It will enable Emerge to offer this holiday workshop to children and their mothers who have experienced domestic violence in the Kingston area.

“This trauma-focused workshop will enable children to increase their skills, promoting confidence, self-esteem, sharing and communicating and most importantly addressing the trauma that they have experienced. We know that it will promote community safety in the long term,” Ms Westhead said.

The art therapy program will also provide support for mothers of participants, to explore more ways to overcome the effects of family violence and provide early intervention to ensure they move on and lead productive lives free from violence.

Nationally, domestic violence affects one in three women with 59 per cent of incidents witnessed by children. 

The Kingston Charitable Fund was launched in 2007 by Kingston Council in partnership with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. “The Fund has distributed more than $400,000 in grants to more than 52 local non-profit organisations,” Cr Bearsley said.

The Fund raises money from local business and philanthropic communities in the municipality, which is then invested and the annual income earned is distributed back to the community in the form of grants.

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