Local Good Community with Swap and Raise 2023BACK TO FUN STUFF
Local Good Community is a space where we share stories about our backyard and those doing good things. In our first edition of Local Good Community, we talk to CJ, Dunsborough local, Mother, Mental health Peer Advocate at Radiance Network South West, Postpartum Doula and the brains behind Swap and Raise – a fundraising event that has been happening bi-annually since 2016.
Picture this; the most amazing mecca of a clothes swap, with clothing and accessories from locals, also brand new goodies donated from local clothing stores – alongside donations from local businesses for raffles, live and silent auctions on the day of the event. Also add a truckload of good vibes, food, drinks and community love thrown in there, and what you have is a super fun day of good karma shopping to raise as many dollars as possible for Radiance Network South West; a community network connecting parents to local services to support emotional well being during pregnancy and early parenthood.
The event is organised by CJ and a group of volunteers. In the lead up as part of the event attendees are encouraged to donate good quality clothing and accessories. In return you receive a credit to spend on the day to go towards your shopping haul. The first event came to life in 2016 happening at Clancy’s in Dunsborough, and since then Solitaire Homestead has been the event partner hosting in 2018, 2021 and 2023. Eagle Bay Brewing Co has proudly partnered with the event since its inception, donating the Bubbles supplied as ticket holder’s drink on arrival and prizes for the day. Then for the food side of things Swap N Raise have partnered with a variety of local cafes and caterers over the years.
CJ’s sole purpose behind the event concept was to raise much needed funds for the support network in the south west for Mum’s and babies and families during pregnancy and the perinatal period .CJ’s awareness of the lack of support available in the south west region became obvious by her own lived experiences of post natal psychosis and depression, moving to Perth for a period to access support and services.
After the first Swap and Raise in 2016 CJ walked into Lamp Inc based in Busselton (which is a service supporting people with mental illness) and delivered a $15,000 cheque. So Anne Mckay, a Mental Health Nurse and Life Coach who was working at Women’s Health Information Centre in Bunbury at the time, along with a group of like minded women who wanted to make an impact in the perinatal space came together to brainstorm ideas and the name Radiance was decided on.
Anne went back to the Women’s Health Information Centre and told them about the project. Together they worked on a submission for a grant and secured $20k, which was used towards Anne working one day a week to do a pilot initiative in Busselton. Radiance Network South West was born with the $35,000 and Anne led the way with a committee who were passionate about working in this space, the importance and consciously creating a nurturing and inviting brand and service. Anne alongside the committee with many hours of voluntary work and community engagement, Radiance was established.
“Radiance launched in November 2017 in response to community demand – recognition that there was not enough awareness, support and services for families in the South West region, who are struggling in the perinatal period. Radiance was a product of partnership and collaboration, with a vision to provide a platform to bring services together in order to support, build resilience, and enhance the emotional wellbeing of parents to strengthen family relationships. Radiance also aims to raise awareness around perinatal anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders and facilitate better pathways”
Alongside helping co-founding Radiance in 2016, CJ became the facilitator for the Radiance support group meet-up’s in Busselton from 2019 and is now one of their Mental Health Peer Advocates and Certified Postpartum Doula. CJ is the driving force behind every Swap N Raise event, which is always dedicated to raising funds and awareness. From 2016 to date more than $80,000 has been raised by the event.
Radiance Network South West is also supported by Lottery West, The Mental Health Commision, sponsorship and local fundraising activities and grants – however there is constant work to secure funding for the initiative to be sustainable and reach future goals. For the future Radiance would like to expand further into other rural towns, future training for facilitators / peer support and long term goal is the building, opening and operation of Radiance Community House. This space will be a sanctuary for families to be supported, connect and nurtured.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co make a contribution to Radiance annually via a single batch beer we brew once a year. This beer is brewed in alignment with the annual release of Yakima Chief Pink Boots Hop Blend. We brew a keg only release to celebrate the launch of these hops and $2 from every pint sold at Eagle Bay goes to Radiance Network South West.
If you would also like to make a contribution towards Radiance or help raise awareness or stay in the loop with what’s happening there are loads of things we can all do.
Head to their website and join their mailing list or give them a follow on Instagram or Facebook
to support upcoming events:
The Community Wellness Expo at The Shed Markets on Thursday 12th October
Act Belong Commit Radiance Festival and Big Pram Walk on Sunday 12th November at Signal Park on the Busselton Foreshore.
Make a donation to Radiance – and of course any donations above $2 are tax deductible
Sponsorship – in kind or a donation, Radiance hosts a wide range of events throughout the year and will happily chat with you about the kind of support you would like to offer. More information or contact them here.
Volunteers to help support mums and bubs in the south west. Head here for more information.
And if you would like to help out or contribute in some way to the next Swap and Raise event please contact CJ via message on her Instagram @cj_mummamindnurture
Have fun out there