‘Surrogate grandmas’ help kids learn home skills

Members of Campbelltown CWA and pupils at Campbellfield Public School. Picture: Chris Lane
Members of Campbelltown CWA and pupils at Campbellfield Public School. Picture: Chris Lane

Campbellfield Public School and the Campbelltown Country Women’s Association are at the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

The school and charitable organisation are working together to teach pupils “lost skills”.

Campbellfield’s instructional leader of literacy and numeracy Gillian Blackmore said the CWA members would act as “surrogate grandmas” for the kids.

“Lots of kids don’t get to see their grandparents often and some others are raised by the grandparents,” she said.

“We’re hoping having the CWA ladies come here and work with the kids they can teach them things like basic cooking and other home skills.

“It’s all very new at this stage. We know the CWA has a very strong social justice aspect as well and they’re all about empowering girls so it will be a beautiful partnership.”

Ms Blackmore said there were plenty of community organisations that wanted to make a positive difference in kids’ lives.

“People want to help out, they just want you to ask,” she said.

“The CWA is like that, and they don’t get to go to schools very often.”

Campbelltown CWA secretary Margaret Rolph agreed and said the organisation was not very well known in cities and the suburbs.

“We are the Country Women’s Association, so people in the cities don’t know us as well as people in the country do,” she said.

She said it would be exciting to see what the partnership with Campbellfield would bring for both the organisation and the school.

She is looking forward to teaching the kids many of the skills that she learnt in her youth.

“Some people grow up and leave home without ever learning how to cook or how to sew,” Ms Rolph said.

“These were things that I learned at primary school, whether it was from a teacher or a volunteer – there was always someone there to teach those skills.

“Today you have mothers who are busy at work, so kids miss out on some of those skills.”

The collaboration between the CWA and Campbellfield is part of the school’s ‘every face has a place’ campaign, which aims to promote social inclusivity.