A new pregnancy assistance centre was officially opened late last year by Archbishop Denis Hart in the outer Melbourne suburb of Frankston. It was the result of a Catholic community initiative which quickly became a reality following a meeting addressed by Brian Peachey from Pregnancy Assistance Perth Inc.
In April 2008, Mr Peachey, who had been visiting Melbourne, was invited by Denise den Bakker to come to Frankston in order to talk about the centre in Perth with which he had been involved for the past twelve years.
Father Denis Stanley, parish priest of St Francis Xavier's, Frankston, and a number of local people were very impressed by what they learned about Pregnancy Assistance Perth Inc and subsequently acquired and opened a shop front in the heart of Frankston which has served as a pregnancy centre.
Pregnancy Assistance Frankston Inc is modelled on its counterpart in Perth and has the patronage of Archbishop Hart with Father Stanley as his representative on the centre's committee. The centre is run by trained volunteers and offers ongoing training sessions to the volunteers (and others interested) in communication skills and ProLife issues.
The centre has been placed in the hands of the Virgin Mary and been the beneficiary of considerable help from generous supporters, enabling it to grow from nothing to a reality in a few short months.
During the period since the Frankson centre's opening, numbers of women have called into the centre and numerous phone inquiries have been received. Meanwhile the centre has been rostered into Pregnancy Counselling Australia's help- line.
At the official opening of the centre, Archbishop Hart said this was a very 'timely event', as the centre would 'fill a critical gap on the Mornington Peninsula and beyond, especially for young and needy people who've been seeking information and resources about the various challenges of pregnancy'.
The centre can be contacted on (03) 9770-6226. Its free and confidential services are available to any woman seeking support in her pregnancy and include free pregnancy testing, experienced and caring support, alternatives to abortion and referrals to appropriate community resources.