A new initiative has been launched by the Family Relationship Centre in the hope of enhancing the support it provides to local families and the Bundaberg Region community.
The Seekers Tree project started two and a half years ago and aims to support families and develop a community where seeking help is normalised.
Family Relationship Centre Community Development Worker Becky Spruce said the idea came about from a collaboration with families in need, the wider community and other local organisations.
“The Seekers Tree was born from families reaching out and asking us where they could go for help,” Becky said.
“We designed this resource in consultation with both families and community and partnered with Uniting Care, River Nations Aboriginal Corporation, Wide Bay Kids and Family Law Pathways.
“We worked alongside River Nations, and they helped us to put a cultural lens across the tree and provided some beautiful Goreng Goreng language.”
Becky said she hoped the resource would assist families in understanding that asking for help was okay and was an opportunity for them to connect with different services.
“We designed this resource for families knowing that sometimes it really is difficult to maintain the strength in your family,” she said.
“We wanted to normalise help seeking, so The Seekers Tree is all about connecting to your community at the right time that you need that service, in a way that resembles strength and connection.
“We are hoping it will cross cultures and regions and that this tree will help our community feel better connected.”
Becky said in response to the growing need in the community for ongoing support, and many questions being asked regarding where to receive support, the tree would be a beneficial resource.
“We developed this interactive tree where children can put messages of hope, messages about family, they can write their name, they can be creative,” she said.
“We wanted to create a beautiful experience where the community could contribute to the tree and make it look more alive by putting leave on the trees.
“It is important to us that families understand it is normal to ask for help and look for help.”
The group is hoping to make the resource widely available to those within the community, with a book on the tree having also been produced.
“The book is a representation of the tree, and we use the branches of the tree to resemble the sectors where families can reach out for help,” she said.
“We are hoping to get this out into community groups, schools doctors’ surgeries and other public spaces.”
Find out more about the Family Relationship Centre here.
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