An inaugural festival of health and well-being clinics was recently hosted by the Bundaberg Parish Anglican Support Ministry, with a particular focus on caring for women at risk of homelessness.
The festival brought local community organisations and services together who provided pop-up clinics and stalls so women could access a range of free services and products, including legal advice, designer clothing, massages, hearing tests, vaccinations and housing advice.
Church Warden Jo Leveritt said that women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing group to experience homelessness in Australia.
“Women face some of the biggest housing affordability challenges in our community, with poverty, financial inequality and other structural barriers placing them at risk of significant housing stress and homelessness,” Ms Leveritt said.
“The feedback from festival attendees was very positive and extremely appreciative for the efforts made by all.”
The festival was held as part of Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week 2022.
Jean Hailes Women’s Health is a national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving women’s knowledge and understanding of complex health issues.
Parish Councillor Leonie Boreel said that the church and St Luke’s Anglican School collaborated to pack dozens of care packages for women.
“Jean Hailes donated 100 bags that, with the help of St Luke’s Anglican School student volunteers, were filled with donations of items suitable for women on the streets and distributed on the day,” Ms Boreel said.
The timing of the festival coincided with the Anglican Support Ministry soup kitchen operations, with women enjoying a free hot meal and dessert.
The annual Women’s Health Week campaign acts as a reminder for women to set aside time for their health and well-being.