I’m a single mum of three awesome kids, Connor 9, Toren 5 and Indiana 2. We are from Penrith and I’ve always felt that the Western Suburbs lacked support and services for our community. We often spent time in the inner west because I felt like my family belonged and there was such a strong sense of community there. I always wished that the outer west was the same so I contacted the council to try and make positive changes for the LGBTQI+ community but was unsuccessful. My friend told me about Rainbow Families and I joined the Penrith monthly catch-up group.
I still felt like Penrith could benefit from a weekly playgroup. I have attended different playgroups over the years and I was always worried of judgment of myself and of how I started my family, so I never returned. I wanted to connect with other families similar to mine and to be able to discuss issues we face and to share experiences and ideas. I also wanted my kids to know that there are other families similar to ours.
I started Penrith Rainbow Families Playgroup because I knew it would benefit other families and I myself really felt the need for it. I felt this was also a step forward for Penrith becoming more inclusive and supportive to the LGBTQI+ community. I had to find a venue and I knew that I wanted it to have a playground, a baby change room and be in a location that would suit families living in the Blue Mountains and in the Penrith area. I found a great centre that ticked all the boxes and after checking it out I knew it was perfect. Sourcing toys for the group was the next step so after contacting Playgroup NSW, they informed me that a playgroup in the area was closing and I was able to have their toys. I collected the toys, sorted through them and packed them up ready for their new venue. Playgroup NSW also gave us many new toys, crafts and resources. Playgroup NSW designed flyers for me to distribute and they are displayed around the area including in Penrith library. Rainbow Families have been so incredibly supportive, encouraging and helpful with starting the playgroup. With Rainbow Families help, the group has been in the Western Weekender and Grill’d will be supporting us in their Local Matters.
Our playgroup is very welcoming and friendly. It is so much fun and really stress-free for parents as we have a laid-back approach at activities. There are toys, books, puzzles, dress-ups, instruments, craft and plenty of outdoor toys and ride-ons for the kids to choose from. We have an awesome playground which is a hit with all of the kids! We have a speaker to play music on and the kids can request their favourite songs! One of our playgroup members regularly brings her bubble machine which is always heaps of fun! Parents usually sit on the outdoor bench and chat while we watch the kids have fun in our safe, enclosed space. I always bring along Rainbow Families resources for parents if they need information of services or support. I have developed amazing friendships in such a short amount of time and look forward to getting to know more families as the group grows.
If you are interested in checking out the group, join our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/prfplaygroup
It is $3 per family and bring along a piece of fruit to share.