In an environment where everyone is talking and only few are listening it is hard to be heard and when you are in need of help often that voice asking is often only a whisper.
Just over a year ago, Jo Westh started 4 Voices with the vision of “A world where any girl or woman who feels unhappy, threatened or alone can find her voice”.
The idea behind the charity is to build connections. Everyone has a need for connection to others and everyone is different in these needs. Connection can be social, technological or employment related, or it can be about connecting people to others who may be able to help.
4 Voices focusses on connecting socially and digitally with girls and women who have difficulty connecting, due to fear, shame, embarrassment, poor English, no family or friend support, no advocate or insufficient intellectual capability to negotiate processes that many take for granted.
4 Voices also targets girls and women who simply do not have access to technology or who are computer illiterate or challenged and/or too embarrassed to ask for help.
The team of volunteers work mostly in the City of Logan and have a phone support team all over Australia. In just over a year the volunteer support has grown to 120 strong and this allows for a lot of support to people in need.
The van shifts go to Browns Plains, Woodridge, Beenleigh and other various locations as well as Ipswich, Goodna and Eight Mile Plains.
4 Voices collaborates with service provider partners including, homeless shelters, crisis accommodation centres, Centrelink offices, aged care facilities, other outreach services and community centres.
They connect girls and women depending on their needs, to health care professionals, mental health practitioners, legal services, and homelessness services.
Recently 4 Voices received a grant from the CM & JA Whitehouse Foundation which was established to provide assistance to Charitable Organisations. This has given the organisation some relief on finding money for the short term, however they are always looking for extra assistance to keep giving back to the community.
Running mostly from the back of a well-equipped van, 4 Voices’ believes there is no issue too trivial, no referrals needed, no girl or woman turned away and they have no customers, clients or patrons, only “partners” with whom it builds trusting relationships.
One of the trusted volunteers at 4 Voices is Fiona who has a background in I.T and due to being medically unemployed spends her time helping others.
“This has been a good fit for me as we are connecting people using technology,” said Fiona.
“I like making connections with people and be a real benefit to others with emotional support and getting their resumes ready to find work.”