The Usher Cup 2022 is raising $10K for TEN local charities as part of its second annual boardriders’ club competition and is proud to support the work of Friends with Dignity, a non-for-profit organisation focused on providing practical support for survivors of domestic violence.
As part of the initiative, Usher Cup Co-founders Theodore Vairaktaris and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew are visiting all 10 charities and were honoured to sit down for an intimate chat with Friends with Dignity Founder and CEO, Manuela Whitford, to learn more about the organisation and how we can help.
Friends with Dignity calls on the community to help provide tangible support to men, women, and children across Australia, encouraging active engagement to better understand what help and support is needed. By creating a safe space to open dialogue and start removing the stigmas, the organisation hopes to engage the community in working together to prevent domestic violence and assist survivors in need.
By standing up, speaking out and supporting these survivors, the hope is to provide the tools and tangible items needed to regain their dignity and move forward in life. Since Manuela founded the charity in 2012, “the organisation has helped 100’s of communities band together and the survivors move forward in life.”
“It’s through community events like you are hosting and us being recipients, that people grow awareness of what we do,” said Manuela. “The core business of what we do is domestic violence, recognising that men, women and children alike are affected.”
It’s not just at a home level that these people suffer, it’s their friends, families, and workplaces too.
After moving to Australia in 2010, Manuela worked in the federal prison system. This position opened Manuela’s eyes to the effect that silence was having on survivors of DV and inspired her to act.
“I started asking the question of, okay, I can’t change the government, I can’t change the law, what can I, as one person, do to make that difference? That’s how it all just started.”
Manuela is determined to have the tough conversations surrounding domestic violence, conversations that were often hushed and behind closed doors. It’s more than tangible items and financial support, it’s encouraging donators and volunteers to ask why so that they become engaged.
In an ideal world, organisations like Friends with Dignity wouldn’t need to exist, and it’s this ideal that drives those involved, a team of hard-working volunteers determined to make their roles redundant.
“You are only one person, but you can make a big impact on many people.”
To support this organisation and the amazing work they do, please donate here (link to https://ushercup.fundmychallenge.com/