Beaudesert community service welcomes local families

A Beaudesert community service which has been supporting local families for more than 30 years will open its doors to the public next week.

Carinity Illoura provides free personalised counselling, parenting and education programs for vulnerable families, adolescents and children from the Scenic Rim area.

The not-for-profit service will host a Family Open Day on February 24. As well as enjoying a sausage sizzle and family activities, children can try Illoura’s new playground equipment.

Chris Summers and Samantha Caves are child and family therapists at the Carinity Illoura counselling centre in Beaudesert.
Chris Summers and Samantha Caves are child and family therapists at the Carinity Illoura counselling centre in Beaudesert.

Local families will also have the chance to meet Illoura’s new child and family therapists, Samantha Caves and Chris Summers.

Samantha is a familiar face around the district, having worked at Carinity Fassifern Community Centre in Boonah for the past seven years.

“I started working in the community services sector after I left high school. I wanted to feel like I was making a positive difference in people’s lives, particularly for those who were vulnerable or disadvantaged,” Samantha said.

“Working with children and families is rewarding and satisfying. It is wonderful to see children and families grow and thrive in positive ways as they engage in therapy. I feel privileged to assist people and support them to reach their full potential.”

Chris was a guidance officer in primary and secondary schools across Queensland and New South Wales for over 20 years.

“Now I’m working closely with parents across a range of areas including children presenting with anxiety and school refusal,” Chris said.

“I enjoy helping people to sort through some of their issues and hopefully being able to resolve some and improve their quality of life.”

Carinity Illoura child and family therapists, Chris Summers and Samantha Caves
Carinity Illoura therapists, Chris Summers and Samantha Caves, with some of the toys they use in play therapy with children.

Program Coordinator Diana Clift said Illoura – which started in 1992 – is vital for people living in Beaudesert and surrounding areas.

“There is an increasing demand for counselling services in the district due to the rise in the cost of living, increase in homelessness, domestic and family violence, and mental illness. Services in the area are limited and struggling to keep up with demand,” Diana said.

“My vision for the future of Illoura is for the centre to become a wellbeing hub for families and their children, as a place to relax and somewhere to receive free counselling and parenting programs.”

This includes a new Sing & Grow music therapy program held each Wednesday morning in February and March, commencing at 9.30am.

Facilitated by a qualified music therapist, the program focuses on child development and builds confidence in parents to use music at home, to enhance family wellbeing.

The Family Open Day will be held at Carinity Illoura, 31 Duckett Street, Beaudesert on Friday February 24 from 3.30pm to 5pm. For more information phone 5541 1955.

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