After a crippling car accident Teresa, age 26, was left what she described as “a living nightmare.”
Like so many clients of the Byron Community Centre’s vital Community service, Teresa had no support – She found herself isolated, in sever relentless pain, poverty stricken and in the full-time care of her 10-year-old son;
“I couldn’t walk, wash or feed myself. I couldn’t brush my teeth or hair… My son left school and would walk the six kilometres each way to town, so we could use his bus fare for food. We lived on bread, 2-minute noodles, baked beans and tinned spaghetti, it was all we could afford and all he could prepare. We often went without food”
Teresa was at a loss.
“Throughout this ten years of living hell, if it was not for the holistic support of the Community Centre and in particular the guidance of Cat, I would not be here alive today.
We are still struggling, but that would be futile without the assistance that the Community Centre has provided. We have been provided with support and guidance through the system. I was previously unaware of Centrelink options, respite and community support programs for both myself and my son as a young carer.
The emergency food vouchers have provided us with food and essentials when we had none. The electricity vouchers and advocacy have kept the lights on. The free counselling service provided me with support for my personal benefit and throughout the legal ordeal including a support person during the hearing and has given me options and tools for moving forward by adjusting to my limitations. The Christmas hampers and birthday gifts have allowed my son to have some elements of a normal childhood and brought light and love into our life when we had none.
The assistance the Community Centre obtained to provide my son with soccer boots has allowed him to keep playing and given him a stress outlet and source for social interaction which as a full-time carer has been severely restricted and full of pressure. The petrol vouchers have allowed me to get to vital and sometimes life changing medical appointments that would have otherwise been lost. The free frozen meals have saved us on so many occasions and are more than just food, they are gifts in our home that reminds us that someone cares and remembers us.
Cat’s belief in me that I have strength and resourcefulness has often lifted me from the darkest moments. The non judgemental and accessible service has obvious physical benefits and advocacy, but in addition to this life support, the compassion and insight of the staff like Cat and Celeste generates hope, which is priceless.
I will never be able to thank them enough.
You can help us provide a Safety Net to our community during times of need. Donate to our Safety Net Appeal