Lily House helping young mothers blossom
By Georgia Beard
Young motherhood is so often tainted by dread and uncertainty, finding hope amongst the hardship can be tiring. However, the Lily House charity is making a world of difference in the lives of young mums experiencing pregnancy struggles and homelessness, by offering safe living environments. We spoke to co-founder and board member, Darin Browne, to discover how the charity turns these daunting situations into a chance for growth and transformation.
After a history of fostering girls in their home, Darin Browne and his wife Fiona were inspired to create lasting change in young women’s lives. The couple pursued this vision by founding Lily House in May 2008 to provide care for young women during and after pregnancy.
The couple dreamt of establishing a place to transition young women into adulthood. “We feel our calling is… to actually transform their lives so that eventually they will become contributing members of society and actually make a difference in their world,” Darin said.
Lily House is first a place of residence for struggling mothers. Darin explained the charity also offers counselling and life skills training that “many girls – especially if they’ve come out of domestic violence or off the streets – don’t have any knowledge of.
“An investment in Lily House is not investing into the lives of young girls; it’s actually investing into the future of our nation,” he said.
“If we can invest in these girls to take them off the social security roundabout and make them productive members of society, that eases the load on everyone.”
However, earning enough funds to support their residents remains a challenge for the organisation. While fundraisers and cent auctions keep the charity afloat, Darin believes Lily House won’t survive without constant financial support.
“If we don’t get some sort of government funding, it’s going to be very difficult to continue,” he said with palpable concern. “We need someone who can come in and really give us a substantial amount of money and help us out.”
In September this year, Lily House received funds from the ‘Helping Hands’ fundraiser at Secrets on the Lake in Montville.
“We do our bit on a very limited budget to care for those girls,” Darin shared. “We would love to receive any help that we can.
“We’re really looking for people who have a vision for the future for our nation. Because if things keep going this way, I really fear for future generations.
“This is about breaking a tragic cycle in our nation. It’s not about running a charity or trying to raise money; it’s about making a difference that will last long into the future.”
To enquire or donate, contact Lily House on 0429 504 029 or visit lilyhouse.org.au.