I entered to see a room full of smiling women and felt immediately at ease.
The owner of the voice was Louise Roach. She welcomed me wearing a vibrant blue dress and yellow scarf with bright pink hair.
Louise is the Acting Coordinator of Mum’s Cottage while Coordinator Sr Helen-Anne is recovering from a hip replacement. Administrative Assistant Deanne March and many volunteers support Louise.
Mums’ Cottage is a community of women that exists to help other women. The original mantra of the ministry is Mothers Companioning Mothers.
The notion of companioning comes from the Emmaus story in the bible (Luke 24:13-35) in which Jesus walked with two people. Jesus walked beside them- not in front of them, not behind them, just simply with them. “That’s something that gets demonstrated here every day,” Louise said.
One recent moment of companioning happened when a woman did not have money to pay an electricity bill. She was trembling and very afraid to call the company, so Louise sat with her and began the phone call for her. After beginning the conversation, Louise passed on the phone to the woman who completed the call. After the successful call, Louise said to her “You did that yourself” to which she replied, “yes, but you were sitting beside me.”
Mums’ Cottage is a place of welcome for everyone. Some women are in deep crisis, and Mums’ Cottage is a launching point for them to get help. The staff and volunteers are able to link mums with the right organisations and counsellors.
“When women come in, we’ve had many say to us ‘There’s just something about this place,’” Louise said.
Deanne echoed Louise’s sentiment. “They know when they walk in the door here that no one is going to judge them. They are going to be accepted,” Deanne said.
“We’ve had an influx lately of women who are homeless or are experiencing domestic violence. Remarkable, strong women. We don’t judge them, we just do anything we can and refer them to places that can help,” Deanne said.
Both Deanne and Louise say it is so life giving, being able to help someone every day.
Mums’ Cottage runs many activities each week, with new volunteers continually bringing new ideas. One of the newest additions is Wild and Wonderful Wednesdays. This is a time for women to gather for fun and company. Each Wednesday will be different, with possibilities including games of Scrabble, sharing stories, singing karaoke, and watching a movie together.
Every second Monday, a garage sale is held in the grounds, coordinated by as Louise puts it, a wonderful “whirlwind of women”.
Mother’s day is coming up, and to celebrate, Mums’ Cottage will be hosting an afternoon tea. This is part of the program Celebrating Women, which includes afternoon tea and a guest speaker each term. Details of the event will be on the Mums’ Cottage Holmesville Facebook page.
Another upcoming event is the Trivia Night. This will be held on Saturday 22 June 6.30pm at Cardiff Bowling Club, 175 Myall Road Cardiff, and will be a fundraiser.
Mums’ Cottage is a place of welcome, help and companionship. For all those needing help or wanting to help others, it is the place to be. For anyone who walks through those doors they will be assured of the same warm welcome that I received.