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Flo's Place sprouts new life in Ballarat

Flo's Place sprouts new life in Ballarat

Flo's Place sprouts new life in Ballarat

25 November 2019

RAMP (Recreation, Activities, Mentoring and Parenting program) co-ordinator Amber Byvoet (left), Child & Youth Services Team Leader Louise Jeffrey, landscape designer Helen Todd and SalvoConnect Western Manager Kellie Brown. Photo: Adam Trafford Courtesy of The Courier

By Jessica Morris

Families struggling with homelessness in the Victorian city of Ballarat now have a safe and welcoming place of retreat after the creation of an outdoor garden space called ‘Flo’s Place’.

Initiated by SalvoConnect Western, the garden backs on to Parker Place, The Salvation Army transitional housing residence that accommodates and supports up to 120 single mothers and their children each year.

Flo’s Place will benefit clients who live on-site, participants who attend the LARF (Life skills, Activities, Relationships and Fun) mentoring program, as well as participants in other programs run on-site by the Family Connections Program.

“Many of our families have experienced homelessness for a variety of reasons, including family violence, family breakdown and unstable housing,” said SalvoConnect Western manager Kellie Brown. “Some of the children who live here have experienced huge upheaval in their lives, punctuated by trauma and the grief of losing all that was familiar.

“It is anticipated that this area will aid in the development of a community where all our clients are welcome, will grow, and can feel safe, and nurtured by the space.”

After successfully applying for an innovation grant from The Salvation Army this year, SalvoConnect partnered with community volunteers and local businesses to transform the overgrown area into a safe and nurturing play space.

The Parker Place property was acquired 12 years ago due to the generosity of late benefactor Bill Parker. ‘Flo’s Place’ is named after Bill’s late mother. It is a child’s wonderland – filled with a teepee, sandpit, outdoor mud kitchens, fruit trees, a vegetable patch, an outdoor street library and interactive spaces where kids and families can connect with nature.

“SalvoConnect is so very excited by the new opportunities Flo’s Place will provide for our clients,” said Kellie.

“We are looking forward to activities where we will take family portraits of clients in the garden and an outdoor musical group which will start in Term 4, but mostly we are looking forward to seeing and hearing children explore and play in this wonderful space.”







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