LAST week the work of Coffs Harbour’s Lilyrose pregnancy care centre was honoured with the 2020 Award for Best Pregnancy Support in Rural and Remote NSW, although due to COVID restrictions the Award was presented via Zoom instead of during a dinner at Parliament House.
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Lilyrose, staffed by a small group of volunteers, has been providing support for pregnant women since 2012, adding an Antenatal Clinic in 2015.
Judy Alcock, Coordinator, Practice Manager and Registered Nurse, said it was a wonderful honour to be nominated and receive one of the five pregnancy support awards instigated by the Honourable Greg Donnelly MLC.
“This honour reflects the passion and dedication of our team of volunteers,” Judy said.
“While we are thrilled to have won the Award, we see it as an opportunity to raise awareness in the community of the various challenges pregnancy can bring.
“Among them, health issues, unplanned pregnancies, domestic violence, housing, relationships and financial stress all may increase anxieties during pregnancy.”
Judy told News Of The Area that Lilyrose Pregnancy Support draws alongside women providing them with compassion for their circumstances but also seeking to empower each woman with the dignity of autonomy in her circumstances.
“Of particular concern is the plight of pregnant women without Medicare,” she said.
“This can add additional uncertainty for the future of a pregnancy and also a financial strain on a small charitable group such as ours.
“Without Medicare, costs associated with pregnancy and including hospital confinement may easily be much greater than $20,000.”
In 2017, Lilyrose conducted a public Adoption Forum, explaining the Government’s new ‘Open Adoption’ process.
“With birth parents now able to help choose the Adopting parents and maintain contact throughout the child’s life,” Judy said, “This has become a mighty step forward and a ‘win’ for both parties.”
Lilyrose offers a 24/7 phone service on 042 322 7917 and a Clinic on Tuesday afternoons, opening other times for urgent needs.
By Monika KOZLOVSKIS