A FESTIVAL atmosphere enabled families to relax as they learned about services available in the Manning Valley to assist them to support their family during challenging situations.
Yesterday (April 15) more than 1200 people enjoyed the sunshine in Fotheringham Park in Taree for the Mid North Coast Family Referral Service Family Fun Day.
Local family support service providers set-up stalls, craft and outdoor activities to entertain children to provide the parents with the time and opportunity to meet and talk with local service providers about what services may be useful to their family.
Family referral service team leader, Mykol Paulson said the family fun day was "a warm way for people to meet, relate and engage with local service providers."
"It's a one-stop shop event and a relaxed way for families to see what services are available to them. For whatever reason, some people may not feel comfortable approaching services in their community or may not even know what is out there so this event creates opportunity for connection, as they are just another family among many, browsing stalls in a local park.
"The initial conversations with staff are warm and people can be easily referred to another service if it can better meet the needs of their family. Our family referral service staff are here to listen and then support families to access assistance."
Hundreds of children were spoilt for choice as the range of entertainment and activities included Troppo Bob, a story corner hosted by Greater Taree City Council library, face painting, beading, necklace making, badge making, giant snakes and ladders, an enormous jumping castle provided by the YMCA Manning Aquatic Leisure Centre and access to a fire engine.
Services represented at the fun day included the Mid North Coast Family Referral Service, Mission Australia, Catholic Care, Manning Support Services, About Inclusion, Women's and Children's Refuge, Communities for Children, Biripi Aboriginal Childcare Services, YMCA Manning Aquatic Leisure Centre, NSW Fire Brigade, Burran Dalai Aboriginal Corporation, Biripi Medical Centre, Childcare Services Taree and District and Greater Taree City Council.
For further information about the Mid North Coast Family Referral Service call toll-free 1300 006 480.