The Ballarat Foundation is thrilled to announce that Raven Collective has been selected as the recipient of the $50,000 Ballarat Innovation Grant.
Founder of Raven Collective, Natalie Illingworth, with the Ballarat Foundation Chairperson, Wayne Weaire and the Ballarat foundation CEO, Andrew Eales.
Raven Collective is a paid work experience program offered to women who have experienced domestic or family violence. Founder of Raven Collective, Natalie Illingworth, has 15 years of experience of working with homelessness and housing security at various government departments and charity groups. Natalie came up with the idea of Raven Collective during the pandemic when she saw how badly the rate of family violence was increasing.
Women who have experienced domestic and family violence are at huge risk of homelessness. Often women have been in an abusive setting for many years and have had their independence taken away. Some women may not have had work for several years, many have been isolated from friends and family and most have very low confidence. The lack of financial independence compounds an already complex issue.
Natalie’s passion to help women who have experienced domestic violence, combined with her experience in this area, means she has a solid understanding of how she can help. The gift boxes that Raven Collective produce are available for purchase online and create revenue to put towards other aspects of the charity.
Raven Collective receives referrals from WRISC to employ women as part of their training program. Women help with the packing of the gift boxes but also receive work experience and training in ordering stock, social media and communications. Women also engage with the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre Work Ready program. The ultimate goal is for them to be able access meaningful work and become financially independent.
The Women of Raven are additionally supported in a remedial capacity in that the are supported emotionally, have access to a social network and are able to engage with yoga sessions and workshops with guest speakers.
You can find more information about Raven Collective here.