When people see their limitations over and over again, they get stuck in that place. In providing them with the skills to push themselves to do something they never thought was possible, they realise . . . anything is possible!
JUANITA SANGER - Founding Member, Fitness Trainer and Mentor
Our Mission Statement
The Women’s Spirit Project aims to inspire, empower and support the transformation of women who are experiencing disadvantage, through fitness, health and wellbeing activities and programs.
Women are supported on a journey which enables them to take emotional, physical and intellectual risks that build their confidence, self-worth and resilience, in order to develop the courage and determination to realise their life goals.
Who are The participants
The Women's Spirit Project Participants Are:
- determined and committed to make change
- 25 years or older
- women experiencing barriers in their life, including but not limited to:
- social isolation
- mental health issues
- family violence
- long term unemployment
- low educational attainment
Why the project began in Frankston
The Frankston community has a greater number of women doing it tough when compared to the rest of Victoria.
In the 2011 Census, the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) Index was 996.7 which is extremely low compared to the state average. The SEIFA figure is attributed to community safety, housing insecurity, unemployment and child development.
Particular concerns in the community are families with high levels of family violence, child abuse and family breakdown, the number of children in out-of-home care, drug and alcohol abuse and the number of people experiencing mental illness, homelessness and unemployment.
- 1 in 5 families are single parent families (20.5%) higher than the national average
- Nearly half of Frankston women earn below the minimum weekly wage (< $599)
- With low-income households or people living in socio-economic disadvantaged areas; higher rates of chronic diseases are prevalent
- 1 in 5 women report high levels of psychological distress.
- The highest rate of family violence in Metropolitan Melbourne.
Women from the community experience a range of barriers that prevent them from participating in physical activities and sports. These barriers compound their vulnerability and the risks they and their families’ experience. Barriers for women participating in physical activity:
- Women are unlikely to see the benefits of physical activity
- Low household income
- Feel intimidated due to being overweight
- Feel embarrassed
- Lack of good, safe walking paths
- Lack of ‘me’ time.