People from the rainbow community have been welcomed to a Gawler-based LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group, supported by Lutheran Care.
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Lutheran Care welcomes Gawler-based LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group

Lutheran Care welcomes Gawler-based LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group

People from the rainbow community have been welcomed to a Gawler-based LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group, supported by Lutheran Care. 

Running on Thursday evenings, the group is a place for adults to connect, share and gain support from others in their community. It is an initiative of community group, Pink Parents Adelaide, and Lutheran Care’s Community Connections program, with support from Gawler and District College Children’s Centre, where the group usually meets. 

Lutheran Care’s Community Partner, Community Connections, Bec Mace said the Peer Support Group commenced after representatives from the Community Connections team connected with Pink Parents Adelaide to discuss unmet needs of those in the LGBTQIA+ community in the Barossa, Light and Lower North regions.  

“We discussed the lack of services, specifically for those within the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as safe spaces for rainbow community members to connect with each other,” Bec said. 

“We then met with other representatives including Kim Wright, Community Development Coordinator and Safer Family Services – Gawler & Barossa, to discuss how to begin to address these needs. 

“Using data collected through some polls Pink Parents Adelaide had conducted on their social media, we were able to see the need for a group specific to adult LGBTQIA+ community members in our service delivery area for our Community Connections Program.  

“We then submitted a Flexible Funding application which was successful, making it possible to support the creation of a LGBTQIA+ Peer Support group.” 

Group facilitator Katherine has been part of Pink Parents Adelaide for around 15 years. She has a degree in Psychology and further qualifications regarding Child, Youth and Family Interventions. 

“My wife and I stumbled across Pink Parents back when our children were younger and we were looking for LGBTQIA+ community for our family,” Katherine said.  

Since it began, Pink Parents Adelaide has grown to include camps, playgroups and other regular community meet ups, and now, the Peer Support Group. 

According to Katherine, the group was set up “to provide our community members with a safe, inclusive space where they feel free to chat about topics they may not feel comfortable discussing with the wider community”. 

“Moving forward we are hoping to expand our Peer Support Groups to other areas across metropolitan Adelaide and help build stronger connections and supports within our community,” Katherine added. 

Through the group, participants can access information about the Community Connections program, which offers short term support to people to increase their skills, confidence, health and wellbeing through links with the community including other services, local groups and supports. Community Connections also offers support for people to build upon existing strengths to help improve personal relationships. 

Lutheran Care’s Executive Manager Community Services Susan Richards said Lutheran Care is grateful for the support of Department of Human Services and the Gawler and District College Children’s Centre for their confidence and support of our Community Connections program and the impact it has on community members. 

“We feel extremely fortunate to play a role in bringing a community led initiative such as the Pink Parents Adelaide Peer Support program to the northern suburbs of Adelaide,” Ms Richards said. 

“Designed by community members with lived experience and supported by Bec from our Barossa Valley Community Connections team, this is another great example of how we see Lutheran Care playing a supportive role to deliver relevant and specifically tailored parenting programs with a local context. 

“Initiatives driven by the community are often more sustainable because they are rooted in the community’s real needs and supported by its members’ continuous engagement and commitment. 

“We don’t expect to know it all and have to run it all, but we want to ensure there are spaces and programs for parents from the LGBTIQA+ community to connect, feel safe; and that they trust. 

“Katherine understands the unique challenges, needs and opportunities faced by the rainbow community when it comes to accessing parenting support.”  

The LGBTQIA+ Peer Support Group is for all people who identify as part of the rainbow community aged 18 or over. 

The group meets on Thursdays, from 5pm-7pm. Tea, coffee and nibbles are provided and a crèche is available upon request. 

There is no need to book, however if the crèche is required, please contact Katherine via 0438 536 346. 

The usual meeting venue, Gawler and District College Children’s Centre, is located at Gate 6/69 Barnet Road, Evanston.