Escare to bring statewide empowering communities program to Esperance

Reducing barriers: Escare team members Nicky Whitby, Jo Aberle and Natalie Symonds are looking forward to starting the new project. Photo: Sarah Makse.
Reducing barriers: Escare team members Nicky Whitby, Jo Aberle and Natalie Symonds are looking forward to starting the new project. Photo: Sarah Makse.

A grassroots support organisation have secured funding to launch a statewide program to strengthen local communities in Esperance.

Thanks to funding from The Department of Communities, Escare will spearhead the Empowering Communities Program for the next five years.

Escare has been a trusted organisation providing financial assistance, advocacy, youth programs and workshops to families and individuals for more than 35 years.

Escare development officer Natalie Symonds said the group looked forward to helping locals explore new activities, social interactions and shareable community opportunities.

"The new program strives to empower the people of Esperance to be a connected and inclusive place where people feel they belong, are valued and contribute," she said.

"The idea around the program is that the community know what they want and what they need.

"They have the ideas and inspiration, and we support them to achieve whatever it is they want, it's really about action being community led.

"It could be something as simple as a mum wanting to organise a playgroup in the park, so we would support them and give them the skills to be able to keep it going."

One group that has benefited from the program is the Aboriginal women's learning group, Yorga Barmah.

With the assistance of Escare in partnership with Esperance Community Arts, local woman created a space to share experiences, gain new skills and collaborate.

Ms Symonds said the program aimed to overcome loneliness and reduce barriers to finding connection, such as by providing transport or childcare.

"It is about including everyone, it is about breaking down barriers, about finding those skills in people that they might not think they have," she said.

"Everyone's got something to give, we want people to feel important in their community, no matter what that community looks like."

"There is a lot of good in our community. We want to recognise, appreciate and connect people to this good."

Ms Symonds said anyone with project ideas they would like to explore is encouraged to contact Escare.