Real stories with real people finding hope in all circumstances.

If you have a story to tell relating to your experience with Life Care, we would love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]

Helping people get back on their feet…

A woman from a migrant background came to Life Care. She had been living with her husband and his family. The family emotionally manipulated and psychologically abused her and her child. Her in-laws would not let her work, even though she had trained as a professional draftsperson.

She was referred to us by a nearby church. She left her home with her child in late December. She had no support and no possessions when she left. Her parents were overseas.

Since then, Life Care has been able to provide emotional support, Emergency Financial Relief, food hampers and a computer to help her find work. Her child has been coming to Community Connect on Sundays and building relationships with other kids.

After a few months, she got a casual job. Her parents were able to come out to Australia to help her. When she dropped in to tell us that she got a full-time job and she would no longer need hampers or assistance, she expressed how deeply grateful she was for all our help and believing in her.

This is a wonderful example of our clients being able to access a wide range of Life Care services that assist with helping people engage well in the community, bringing hope to their families and supporting improved lifestyle choices, demonstrating our genuine desire to support and enrich the lives of people in our local community.

More stories like this:

Casey's Story

After experiencing a traumatic domestic violence episode, Casey* had to flee from her property with her children into transitional accomodation.

Our case work team worked closely to support Casey with food and advocacy with housing to help her be successfully relocated. Casey lived in multiple temporary accomodations for over 3 months while she waited to be rehoused. At times she was driving over an hour to get her children to school.

Our case workers worked with housing and advocated for Casey’s needs so that she could have some stability in this time and highlighted the urgency and high need of this family to find safety and stability in a new home as soon as possible.

Casey was successfully rehoused in a suitable property in a quiet neighbourhood and has begun rebuilding her family’s life. We continue to work with Casey as she works through the many complexities of trauma and single parenthood.

*not her real name

Advocating for the vulnerable

Life Care was referred a young woman earlier this year who had experienced domestic violence. The Department of Housing moved her into a new apartment earlier this year but she had nothing to furnish it with.

Even from prison she was still being harassed by her ex partner, which caused her stress and anxiety. Eventually, after he was released from prison, he was was arrested again for continuing to hurt her. Measures were out in place to protect her due to her vulnerabilities.

Our Case Worker applied to Victims Services for an Immediate Needs Support Payment. She received $3,500 from Victims Services to buy furniture and whitewoods. After further advocacy on her behalf, we were able to get her another grant of $3,500 from Wesley Mission to buy additional furniture and items that she needs.

She now has the essentials she needs to get back on her feet. Her ex partner cannot contact her and Life Care continues to work with her to assist in ordering furniture and keep her safe. 

Mary's Story

Recently Mary* was referred to us for legal support. Mary and her children had been impacted by domestic violence. They are new to Australia and have no family support them. They were very isolated. 

We were able to provide free legal support which is ongoing and Mary was invited to come along to COMMUNITY CONNECT to receive food hampers and also connect with other people in a safe environment.

Mary’s children were also invited to come along to Artslife and try out our group workshops. At first the kids were very shy and did not want to participate. 

On a recent visit to COMMUNITY CONNECT the children were again reluctant to join in on the kids activities but after gentle encouragement immersed themselves in some fun craft. By the end of the program they didn’t want to leave and had made some great connections with other kids. 

Now after several visits to ArtsLife they are quick to join feeling confident and comfortable and making many new friends.

*not her real name

Grandparents parenting again

About a month ago we met a woman who reached out to us after hearing about us from a family friend.

She had recently been given custody of her three grandchildren aged 1, 5 and 7. She lives in a one bedroom unit and didn’t get any of their clothes toys or other essential items. The grandmother herself was struggling to make ends meet on her pension. 

Life Care was able to give her immediate assistance with a food hamper and nappies for the baby. After posting on our community pages, the broader community gathered clothing and toys for the children which we delivered, along with another food hamper, three days later. 

Since then, we have been able to refer her to other services that can assist her with her specific circumstances in her local area and we have included her family on our fortnightly hamper service.

This is a great example of how the team at Life Care is quick to respond with generosity and practical support to people in the community that need help. 

Amy's story

Amy* was referred to us by a Domestic Violence support service following a traumatic DV event.

She was left stranded with her children with no transport or money. She had many overdue bills and was stressed and trying to manage large debts.

Life Care was able to provide her with financial assistance and connected her in with our friends at Moneycare. Moneycare helped her to eliminate some of her debt and made repayment arrangements with her utilities providers.

We also advocated for her with other groups that were wrongfully requesting money from her, while providing her with emotional support and encouragement. Amy is still struggling but, with our help, has been pointed in a better direction. We continue to work with and support her in whatever way we can.

*not her real name

School camp

Earlier this year, a single mum with children was referred to Life Care. She was of non-English speaking background and was unemployed and finding it difficult to get support. 

She was feeling disappointed that her child had to miss school camp because she could not afford to purchase the list of items he was required to take on camp. They did not have anything to take including a sleeping bag, torch, beach towel, travel bag.

The child had also grown out of their shoes and winter clothes. Through our Emergency Relief funding, Life Care was able to purchase some new warm winter clothes and 2 pairs of sneakers. We were able to get everything on the camp list so they had everything the other kids had. 

Mum was very happy and grateful that she was able to find the right support through Life Care, to be able to provide her child this very important opportunity. 

Trisha's story

Our Parenting Support Program has really flourished this year. Registrations have increased, even though most of the courses were moved to online, and we have found participants engaged really well with each other and with the online learning. Appointments for Parent Coaching have also been in demand, providing support to individuals  who are facing additional challenges in their parenting role.

Referrals from our partnerships in the community have grown and our Parenting Facilitator has been afforded more opportunities to work alongside case workers and solicitors, coaching parents who are navigating some very difficult circumstances. 

Trisha* was referred to Life Care Parenting, by her Case Worker. She had lost her husband, last year, which consequently led to severe mental health issues and the removal of her children to temporary foster care. She found the parenting courses helpful and asked to enrol for a second time to ensure her understanding.

Working alongside her Case worker, our Parenting Facilitator has provided individual coaching to Trisha, preparing her for the supervised visits with her children. Using the skills she has learnt in the courses, Trisha’s relationship with her children has strengthened and her confidence is increasing. Life Care’s Legal support is preparing Trisha to have her case reviewed by the court to gain access to her children. We have also been able to provide food hampers and Trisha is very much looking forward to the return of our Community Connections as she feels ready to start developing friendships.

*not her real name

Petra's story

Petra* first came to Life Care a few months ago. She was in serious financial crisis, her business had gone broke due to COVID and, as a consequence, she was going through a relationship breakdown. Petra was very isolated and had also developed some serious health issues.  
On her first visit Petra explained that she didn’t ever think she would be the person standing in line waiting to receive a food hamper. But she said that desperate times called for desperate measures.  
Life Care has been supporting Petra regularly with food and we have been able to pay some of her household bills via our Emergency Relief program. Petra has connected with others at our Community Connect event on a Sunday (prior to the current lockdown) and has developed some great friendships as a result.  
More recently Petra’s health has improved and she is now able to look for work. Petra called the Life Centre to share her news and to thank the Life Care team for the way we had encouraged and supported her through this most difficult time.  
*not her real name 

Paul's story

The last 8 years were horrible and full of grief. I lost my mum, dad and sister, and my brother vanished. My eldest daughter passed away at 27 years of age. My relationship with my partner of 28 years broke down. I was unemployed and looking after 3 children. I hid all the pain.

A family at my daughter’s school started to help me. They were so kind. One day they said, ‘Why don’t you come to church?’ I found myself wanting to come because I loved these people and if the people at church were like them then it would be ok.

I came to church and had an overwhelming feeling of no shame. People were friendly and real and God was real in their lives – and I wanted that too. Each Sunday I came I was in tears because I felt safe, no condemnation and peace. I started to pray and listen to Jesus.

The church’s Life Care team helped me in all areas – food, bills and getting myself organised. They gave me strength again.

I was a mess caught up in my own turmoil and couldn’t let go of it. Every time I connected with people at church, I could let go a little bit more. Before, if there was a problem in my life, I’d fester on it and hide away, but now I don’t live that way.

Life is so different. Jesus is growing in me. Now I have beautiful friends and this is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Now I have a relationship with Jesus and He is always with me and on my mind. I have hope and inspiration now and I don’t fear anymore.

Blessed to be a blessing

Aspasia started coming to GRLC in 2017. Her first encounter was through Life Care, she was going through a very tough time in her life and began getting some assistance from our Life Care services. Aspasia loved the work Life Care was doing so much she went on to become a volunteer.

“I have personally found this season of COVID-19 very challenging.

Early on, the Government advised anyone over 60 years of age to stay home and isolate.

I am a very social person, I love connecting with my friends and family, I love coming to church during the week to volunteer for Life Care and especially on Sundays.

Life turned upside down. I became very lonely. Although I made efforts to call family and friends, and they called me also, it wasn’t the same. I watched the church online content but even that wasn’t helping. I was feeling very disconnected.

It was a difficult time. But God got me through it and since restrictions have lifted I have been able to get back to doing what I love; helping at Life Care. The new Community Relief Centre has been a blessing to so many people and I love spending time there with the other volunteers, packing the hampers and catching up with them each week.

This week, I went to deliver some hampers to some people who can’t come to the centre. It was a beautiful thing that I got to witness today when a woman received her hamper, her face lit up with so much excitement. She began to tell me everything she could make with the items from the bag and how long it will get her through, the look of joy on her face really made my day and I recalled back to when the ladies from Life Care used to visit me with a hamper, I was reminded of the impact it made on me and how much God loves me and also this lady. No matter how isolated we feel, God is with each and everyone of us, all the time.

Stepping out in faith

Hi, I’m Eleanor, and I’ve been attending GRLC with my husband Zac for nine years. Until recently I’ve been very busy, super organised and always on the go. By day I was working as a sonographer specialising in obstetric ultrasound, and by night and on weekends working as a dance teacher running my own school. On top of that I’m a mum to four-year-old Bronte and five-month-old Phoebe. I knew this year was going to be different and slower paced, but I wasn’t expecting this!

I went on maternity leave from my ultrasound job the week before I had Phoebe in January, and made the difficult decision to walk away from the dance school I had built over the last seven years. The loss of my school, the loss of identity in the workplace and the stresses of a newborn led me to a diagnosis of post-natal depression in late February. Then came COVID-19.

We isolated as a family very early on to protect Phoebe — we were fortunate to be able to do so. Because of that, we missed our regular life group meeting that week, and weren’t sure how we’d be able to continue to connect into the church while self-isolating. Two weeks later, all of NSW was in lockdown, and our life group transitioned — albeit awkwardly — onto the Zoom platform. I was thrilled. It’ll never be the same as being together in person, but during a really difficult time it was so comforting to be seeing, chatting and praying with familiar faces.

And I discovered something else. All of the things that would normally make us miss a week’s life group — extended family birthday dinners, dance competitions, work conferences — were also cancelled. Our life group met up more often, watching the Sunday sermon together and discussing afterwards. It felt like God was giving me the opportunity to think about my schedule and prioritise life group more.

Then on Saturday 18 April, Zac needed help. He’d taken on the job of editing and producing Ben’s sermon, and while Zac‘s great at the technical stuff, he needed me to make the sermon to look and feel right. I traded two children for his laptop and got to work. It felt great to be able to flex those creative muscles again, and contribute to a project that would allow so many of our church members to hear, see and feel God’s word, something that they would have been craving in lockdown. The following week I volunteered to join the creative production team.

I’ve continued to serve, editing and producing my share of the Sunday sermons with Zac. It’s been wonderful and eye-opening listening to the pastors’ words over and over while editing. Through their mistakes and re-tellings of the same stories and passages, I’ve gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of what God is trying to tell me. It’s like reading different translations of the same Bible passage, and having one really hit you and stand out.

It’s been amazing to be able to combine one creative passion with the passion for Jesus, while serving a real need in church. And I’d encourage anyone to do the same.

Looking back now, I can’t believe God had to use a global pandemic to actually get me to listen, and re-evaluate what matters. But I’m so glad He did.

A Family's Call

What an amazing couple of months it has been to connect with people in our street. Prior to Covid, we were always running everywhere – appointments and events for the kids, extra curricular work events, etc.

One of the nice side effects is having the time at home that we never seemed to previously have. Over Easter, the girls and I had the opportunity to make special Easter Bunny surprise deliveries to the thirty families around us. We attached a special message to each of them and a bible verse.

As a response we met a number of families we’d never met before, letters appeared in our mailbox with introductions, other’s felt free to share their own faith, and when we sat on our front lawn we had had a few neighbourhood chats that we may never have had the opportunity or time for! With many left over Easter Eggs we also had a cook up and made brownies, cup cakes and fudge and got to do some follow up visits. We’ve met an older lady across the street that we were able to do a little grocery shop for, another single lady who just needed some company, and another couple who have us now on call to sit with the wife if the husband needs to go out because she has some health conditions and can’t be left alone. The girls have met new playmates, we’ve learnt some names and we’re looking forward to having a chance to catch up with barbecues and some street picnics in the future.

We’re so thankful that through such a terribly tough time that we’ve had the privilege to connect in ways that we were always ‘too busy’ for. We hope that in the small gestures, our neighbours have had a glimpse of God’s love, and that they have been ‘seen’ in what has been a very lonely time for some of them and that these small acts will open connections for future conversations and connections​.

Compassion that goes beyond

Over the past few weeks during isolation, I have been reaching out to all of my friends and checking on them.

When talking with one of the mums from school , she told me that her work hours had been cut in half, her new wage would barely cover her rent. This made me think about how I could support her more than just emotionally.

I remembered the Life Care hampers and decided to visit to Life Care and pick up a hamper for her. I then went to deliver the goodies to her, I left it on her doorstep with a flowering plant and card so she could come home and find the surprise.

Later that afternoon I received a message from her, not only her but also her partner and children were completely blown away and so appreciative.

It was a a gesture that took me very little time but had such a huge impact on her and her family. knowing that I was able to provide food for her from Life Care was a great feeling. I know I will definitely continue to look out for more ways that I can help people in our community.

Hope on a morning walk

Last week on a morning walk through Evatt Park I noticed a man going through a rubbish bin looking for food for himself and his dog.  It took me a couple of takes to have the courage to talk to him but felt compelled to ask if I could help. Unfortunately, he did not speak English and so it was hard to communicate with each other.
I did say to him that I wanted to help. I telephoned Suzanne and shared the experience with her and asked her the best way to approach the situation and how to use the Community Relief Centre to help him.  It was decided that Suzanne would make up a bag and drop it into me.  The bag was filled with practical food for both him and his dog.

Each day I would go for a walk at the same time and pray for this gentleman.  Exactly one week later I went for my walk and there he was.  I said hello, he waved and I said I had a bag of food for him.  He didn’t really understand so I quickly rang Drew and he drove down with the bag.  I handed it to him, he was a little emotional and surprised but said thank you.  I pointed to the side of the bag and he understood that there was a phone number to call for any further help.

My heart was lifted and it felt so good to be able to help someone in need and is exactly what the Community Relief Centre is set up to do.  I love that we have access to such a wonderful service to help others.  I am now praying for him each day and praying that he will contact the Centre or I will knock into him again.


Georges River Life Centre
23 Stanley St, Peakhurst 2210


p. 02 9153 6300
e. [email protected]

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