It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Rebecca Jarret-Dalton, founder of NSW-based brokerage Two Red Shoes, was invited to join the board of charity organisation The Haven - Nepean Women's Shelter at its inauguration in 2017 right when she identified a gap in her life and wanted to give back to the community.
“It chose me,” Jarret-Dalton told MPA. “I had been thinking of volunteering at the hospital or somewhere similar, then I was invited to sit at the table and heard the staggering facts around domestic violence and met the incredible people behind the organisation. It really wasn’t a difficult decision to become a part of it.”
A community-funded shelter, The Haven falls under the umbrella of Women’s Community Shelters (WCS) and is ran by its CEO Annabelle Daniel and chair Sharon Levy. The charity, in its first 10 months of operation in NSW, provided over 3,000 bed nights to women and their children escaping domestic violence.
A community affair
Initially, Jarret-Dalton and her team helped create awareness to the charity and launched its fundraising efforts, as well as provide support in finding and setting up rental properties that will serve as shelters for the victims. Her team contributed in every way they could — from making bunk beds and putting together washing machines to test running barbeques.
Local networking groups and organisations threw their support to the charity by running fundraising events, while local tradies came in to paint the houses or fix plumping.
“We are a board of 12 and our families, including our ‘haven kids’, worked beside us through the project,” Jarret-Dalton said.
Information technology has been Jarret-Dalton’s specialty in The Haven. But apart from looking after the organisation’s IT system, Jarret-Dalton lends a hand whenever possible, whether it be picking up donations or speaking at events.
On a school level
While Jarret-Dalton is happy to have been given the chance to meet some of the charity’s residents and the governor of NSW, she feels incredibly humbled by the moment she sat together with the amazing women and men behind The Haven which include “the most empathic lawyers, accountants, HR, marketing and education specialist.”
On a professional level, the experience has taught Jarret-Dalton about operational risk and made her realise her system is not as good as she thought it was.
According to Jarret-Dalton, with her community embracing The Haven, her team aims to bring disrespectful behaviour to light on a school level and make their whole region a haven from domestic violence.
“It’s working! So many schools are welcoming the WCS Walk the Talk program and embracing change,” she said. “The community is certainly behind us.”