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West Gippsland group connected by cuppas and craft, back face to face.

“Woo Hoo! We are back to having face to face wellbeing activities,” Fortem’s Julie Bellingham says.

Julie is our Community Engagement Officer, based in Warragul, Victoria. She is a champion of her first responder community and the work of Fortem Australia.

“Our weekly Cuppa, Craft and Chat Group remains strong and the women involved are enjoying meeting in the park, as the COVID restrictions slowly ease,” she says.

“There is probably more chatting than crafting happening at the moment as people catch up in person, but I am always surprised at those who can crochet at the same time as chatting.

“Truth is, nothing was ever going to slow us down, with the Coffee, Craft and Chat Group still connecting for their weekly catch ups via Teams during lockdown.

“The feedback on the virtual catch ups has been positive, which just highlights the importance of staying connected, however you can.

“And especially for this community who have dealt with drought, bushfires, floods, storms and COVID all in the last couple of years.

“The group always covers a wide range of topics as they chat, from CFA politics, to COVID lockdowns, vaccinations, news, parenting, and looking after aging parents, to what craft we’re working on.

“Not to mention, how local cemeteries are run and what we’re going to do this week for selfcare – and that was all just this week!

“As lockdown in regional Victoria eases somewhat, we’re hoping to resume more face to face activities, keep an eye on the calendar.

“New people are always welcome.”

Fortem activities, events and community engagements are designed to support the mental fitness of our first responder families. Read more about Our Approach.
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