by GRACE JOHNSON
Local cafes in Sydney have teamed up with a women’s support initiative to support women in need this upcoming festive season.
Diamond Women, a group of professionals that provides support for young and vulnerable new mothers, launched the ‘Fill Her Cup’ campaign on December 13.
The campaign, launched at Hills Bros Cafe in the Sydney CBD, will run in collaboration with several local cafes to fundraise and encourage the community to help out where they can by ‘filling her cup’ – helping Diamond Women to continue to provide essential support to new mums free of charge.
This year has seen a 35 per cent increase in women seeking unplanned pregnancy support services, but research suggests that the need for support spikes over the holiday period, and with a lack of funding, many women are left to grapple alone. This Christmas will be particularly hard as the cost-of-living crisis reaches its height, and many are struggling to make ends meet.
The organisation has had a 94% increase in women reaching out for their help this year. Last December, Diamond Women received 47 new enquiries from women reaching out for help. Today, they’re at 36 and only just halfway through the month. In contrast, the organisation only received 11 enquiries in December 2021.
People are feeling the statistics
Diamond Women CEO, Jennifer Gurry said that people are feeling the statistics. “While the demand for our services surge, donors are feeling the pinch. Meaning non-profits are battling year on year for funding, to provide services that serve our most vulnerable in the community – free of charge,” Ms Gurry said.
At participating cafes, or online, patrons will be able to scan a code and donate to the service for the price of a cup of coffee.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the campaign, Ms Gurry told City Hub, “We see women every day who are ‘drained’ by life, the cost of living, feeling like they are out of options and out of energy, feeling overwhelmed by their circumstances and lacking the ‘juice’ or stamina to think through their options, weigh their decisions carefully and no one is filling their emotional tank or in our case their ‘cup’.”
“They come to us and find a safe space, a place of hope, support and compassion and now their ‘cup’ is filled and they feel they can go another day,” she continued.
The perinatal period for pregnant women can often see a spike in mental health incidents, especially when combined with other stresses. This is pertinent during the festive season, which often involves increased expenditures and higher stress.
Ms Gurry explained that perinatal effects can be short-term through to long term and impact not just the mother, but also the child.
“Mental health challenges increase the chances of postpartum depression – increased feelings of sadness, anxiety and fatigue which can impact how she cares for her baby,” she said.
“Mental health challenges can also impact bonding and attachment which can lead to long-term developmental issues with the child.”
“It can affect family relationships and her ability to return to work or could turn into long-term mental health issues.”
Crucial support services
Early intervention is key, which is a major aspect of their support service.
To City Hub, Ms Gurry said, “This year this fundraiser ensures the phones get answered over the holiday period, we are giving out food hampers, and gifts for mums and bubs and ensuring that in the new year, we can meet the needs of the women that come through our door all free of charge.”
“This includes professional counselling services (no medicare card needed), casework, mentoring, material assistance and our perinatal connection program. It’s the wrap-around services that make us unique, and it’s the amount of care that makes our services special.”
Contribute to the ‘Fill Her Cup’ campaign online, or at these local cafes:
● The Stage Door Café
● Frankies Food Factory
● The Foxy
● Cut & Grind Cafe
● Hills Bros Cafe
● La Taza Cafe
● Fahrenheit Cafe
● Sugar Salt cafe
● La Verita Cafe
● Bottega Coco