Penrith consistently attracts some of the state’s highest rates of domestic and family violence. Off the back of recent incidents, local organisations are taking matters into their own hands.
The Rotary Club of Penrith Valley has partnered with Penrith Women’s Health Centre to develop basic emergency kits to assist women in the initial few days before they’re able to find safe and stable accommodation.
This was undertaken in response to Penrith Women’s Health Centre experiencing a rise in the number of women escaping from violent households, only to arrive at their Lethbridge Street centre with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
The kits include shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, body wash, moisturiser, hand sanitiser, tissues, a hairbrush, cosmetics and cosmetic bag, and a diary and pencil. The items are packed into a backpack, both for ease of travel, and to allow for the possibility to add other belongings along the way.
Community Services Director at the Rotary Club of Penrith Valley, Jean Vranich, said that the creation of the kits has been particularly timely, and will hopefully act as a glimmer of hope for victims.
“Such kits are both useful and meaningful in such a crisis when often the victims feel so alone and abandoned,” she said.
“We are here to help. It is a very important role of Rotary to be of service to the community and especially to those in dire need.”
The first 10 kits were packed up by the Rotary Club and delivered by President Bronwyn Jackson to Penrith Women’s Health Centre earlier this month.
Vranich assures that there is much more where that comes from in the future.
“We still have numerous kits to be packed and delivered,” Vranich said.
“This will happen in the near future.”
Rotary is an international charity organisation of volunteers dedicated to the welfare of others.
For more information about the club or the emergency kits, call Jean Vranich on 0410 586 437.
New members are always welcome.
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.