Left to right: Angela Coppack, Chrissy Gibbs, Liz Jones, Claire Henderson and Rose O’Ryan
Promoting women’s health at Flourish Australia’s Windsor service
By Grant J Everett
The George Street branch of Flourish Australia in Windsor holds regular get-togethers for the people who access their service, and their morning teas are especially popular. The people who are supported at Windsor will often come up with new ideas for social groups that will help promote social inclusion and interaction, so the staff members are always sure to listen.
“We are very grateful to be able to spend our time with these ladies, and they’ve all shared their appreciation for the staff they get to work with,” Laura Meyers, Manager, Windsor.
As a part of the Quarterly Health Promotions that Flourish Australia locations have been running for a while now, George Street decided to host a high tea that would specifically focus on promoting good health for the female gender. As more women access our Windsor service than men, tailoring a group towards this demographic makes a lot of sense.
This special event was arranged by Mental Health Worker Sandra Skara and Peer Worker Maddie Campbell.
The women’s high tea primarily aimed to break down the barriers surrounding female physical health in a safe, supportive environment. They particularly focused on illnesses and other relevant health topics that might not come up in general conversation all that often. The health content of these discussions covered mammograms, menopause and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as physical demonstrations of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. As breast cancer is one of the biggest killers of Australian women and everyone in the group fell into the age bracket where self-checks and regular mammograms are essential, breast health was the core topic of the day.
Goals of the women’s health high tea
1. To create an informative discussion about women’s health issues, especially concerning the topics that may not come up in everyday conversation
2. To help the participants build on their existing friendships with one another
3. To enjoy a delicious high tea prepared and served by the staff
In order to get everyone involved, Maddie and Sandra used an interactive approach that encouraged participants to ask questions and share their knowledge. And while this group was specifically tailored towards the women who attend George Street, its content would be relevant to any women in the community over the age of 40.
As all the women who attended this event were already friends, Maddie and Sandra used this event to build even stronger bonds between all of them.
Sandra and Maddie measured the success of their informative morning tea by phoning all of the participants and simply asking them what they thought. This is a very important part of the process, as honest feedback helps our staff members to do an even better job next time. When it came to finding out what everyone had enjoyed the most and were likely to remember, there were two highlights: first, the delicious afternoon tea that had been prepared the day before in Maddie’s art group, and the free-flowing discussions that took place throughout the day came a close second. All the women agreed that they had learned a lot from Sandra’s interactive approach and that the process had been effective. In addition to great refreshments and learning important facts about their health, the participants felt socially fulfilled by being able to build on their existing friendships.
Success! Looks like combining a popular event with an informative group was a great idea!
“It was a good afternoon where lots of useful information was shared. The group of ladies were very open and we enjoyed each other’s company,” Kelly Cook