Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) has received almost $5,000 as part of the 2018 Freemasons Community Grants program.
The grant was awarded to fund the development and provision of a new community program called “Active Mums n Happy Bubs”, which aims to bring together new mums who want to meet other new mums who want to restore their fitness, or commence a new fitness journey.
GLCH’s Chief Executive Officer, Sue Medson OAM says, “The aim of this program is that the mothers involved will build social connections, so they’ll know where to go and feel more encouraged to seek support whenever they need it. Those initial stages of motherhood can feel overwhelming at times, so to create a space where mums can receive support, advice and connect with other mums is really valuable in terms of one’s general health and mental wellbeing.”
Based in Lakes Entrance, this innovative program will be delivered by GLCH Gym Instructor Kim Woolan, who has expertise in working with new mums and exercise.
“I’m really excited about this program because there’s a lot to be gained for new mums by just connecting with each other,” explains Ms Woolan. “Also, when women decide to start or return to exercise after having a baby, it’s really important they do so under qualified supervision.”
Darrell Traplin from the Gippsland Lakes Freemasons Lodge in Lakes Entrance says, “We’re excited to see the impact this program will have on our local community. GLCH’s application was selected because of its potential to support, educate and connect so many members of the community who can all greatly benefit from this type of program. This is one of many such programs throughout the state, to which Freemasons Victoria has provided support.”
Scheduled to launch in 2019, Active Mums n Happy Bubs will consist of weekly one-hour exercise sessions, followed by 30 minutes of socialising. The sessions will be conducted in accordance with school terms, and will be delivered in local parks, playground areas and walking tracks around Lakes Entrance.
“Our aim with these social fitness sessions,” explains Ms Woolan, “is to encourage and support mums to become active together, so they can keep exercising with other participants from the group, outside the program’s scheduled times. They’ll all be at similar places in their motherhood journey – sleep deprived, trying to find a routine, trying to maintain their identity – so it will be great for them to realise they’re not alone during this time; while also being able to surround themselves with people who are going through something similar, because shared experiences can be very powerful and bonding. I’m really looking forward to helping our community become fitter, healthier and more connected, through this program.”
Active Mums n Happy Bubs will also improve access for mums and their families, to connect with other social and health-related services, while also enhancing the visibility of the children, which could assist in the early detection of health or developmental issues.
“If we can facilitate a more connected and confident community of new mums, who know where to turn when they need support, then we can reduce that sense of isolation that is often experienced during the initial phase of parenthood – and the wider local community will also become stronger and more connected as a result,” says Ms Medson.
To find out more about the Active Mums n Happy Bubs program contact GLCH on 5155 8370.
Photo provided: GLCH’s CEO Sue Medson OAM is pictured with GLCH’s Gym Instructor Kim Woolan, accepting a cheque from Darryl Traplin from Gippsland Lakes Freemasons Lodge in Lakes Entrance.