‘I’ve been most surprised by how big a difference a little support can make. Just by having someone in your corner and gaining a little bit of confidence, so much can happen.’

‘Because of the great support we receive, we are able to link families who have not just made it through challenges, but are now thriving, with families whose struggles they can relate to. Families tell us that they feel that there’s no judgement.’

She believes local support is crucial: ‘So many families are suffering from isolation and loneliness. To have a local family who they can turn to makes a big difference.’

The sharing families are guided by a weekly session with their Family Coach, who helps them to navigate any difficult situations and be a greater support to seeking families.

One of the key signs of success is that so many of the seeking families eventually become sharing families.

Danielle says: ‘It’s great to see it come full circle. When a seeking family becomes a sharing family, not only have they worked through their challenges, they are now giving that support to another family who trusts that they understand what it’s like.’

‘It’s neighbours helping neighbours, and it’s not just connecting families, but communities.’

Jasmine and Glen have been involved in the Family By Family program for just over six years as a sharing family.

Jasmine was initially interested in the program because: ‘The program represented the kinds of values that are important to us as a family. I want our children to grow up and be non-judgemental, empathetic people, who are willing to help others.’

‘The program gives us the chance for our children to see their parents modelling these important values.’

With all of her children involved, she is rightfully proud to be part of it.

‘It’s such a great program. There are so many people who feel isolated or just don’t know how to work through something. To have someone - a whole family, like yours - who has been there and can relate, that’s powerful.’

The program has shown Jasmine just how these seemingly little things can make a life-changing difference.

‘Some members of our seeking families have gone on to study, or get their driver’s license, when they never believed they could. Others have become sharing families themselves, able to help other families through their tough times.’

It’s even inspired a career change for Jasmine.

‘Having the Family Coach to help give me the tools or advice when I’ve needed it, or even to just listen when it’s been a hard week, is invaluable. I would love to become a Family Coach myself.’

‘Sometimes it just means everything to hear that you’re doing a great job.’

Jasmine feels her own family has benefitted, too.

‘The reality is, all families go through ups and downs. Often, when things get tough it doesn’t happen during 9am to 5pm. Having someone you can trust and turn to in those hard moments makes an incredible difference.’

Family By Family is providing a different way for families to support one another. This unique program is helping many families find strength during hard times, and build vital networks in their local community.

We’re incredibly grateful that our supporters give Uniting Communities the ability to offer greater help to families in our community through this caring program.

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