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By CASEY NEILL

WELLSPRINGS for Women is a finalist for the Victorian Community Training Provider of the Year award.
Acting manager Holly Gordon said this recognised the hard work from the Dandenong not-for-profit’s management, staff, board members and volunteers, and support from other local agencies and the Greater Dandenong and Casey councils.
“We also see this as recognition that we are successfully continuing the vision of our late founder, Sister Ann Halpin, to ‘empower isolated women to live their lives more fully’,” she said.
Ms Gordon said women who attended Wellsprings were often experiencing isolation due to mental illness, domestic violence, financial stress, language barriers, migration and trauma.
“These are women who fall through the gaps of other services or who quickly reach the end of their entitlements to other services in an under-pressure, under-funded community sector of rotating doors,” she said.
“Wellsprings is unique amongst training providers in the local area due to our targeted outreach programs and integrated response to meet often complex personal, social and economic needs.”
Wellsprings provides pre-accredited education and services to about 200 women and their pre-school aged children each week.
It recently achieved Gold Standard Mental Health First Aid Workplace status and has two MHFA instructors on staff to teach volunteers.
“This is one of many steps Wellsprings is taking to ensure we are meeting the ever-changing needs of our community,” Ms Gordon said.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony during National Skills Week on 28 August.

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