Treasure Boxes supports mums in Port Augusta

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Rikki Cooke and Sarah Burford arrive at the Port Augusta Hospital with one of many treasure boxes.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Rikki Cooke and Sarah Burford arrive at the Port Augusta Hospital with one of many treasure boxes.

A not-for-profit organisation with an aim to alleviate hardship and trauma for South Australian kids delivered boxes of treasure to the Port Augusta Hospital to support new Aboriginal mothers.

Representatives from Treasure Boxes, an Adelaide-based organisation, arrived in Port Augusta on Monday to provide assistance packages filled with toys, baby clothes, nappies and breast pumps.

The organisation also provides car seats, cots and high chairs, particularly to children and their families fleeing domestic violence, in foster care or living in severe disadvantage.

After supporting 40 to 50 families in the region during this preliminary trip, Treasure Boxes hopes to deliver to the hospital on a monthly basis.

Treasure Boxes Founder Rikki Cooke said each trip to the region could potentially support about 200 families.

"We aim to ease the anxiety, stress and trauma placed on newborns, young children and their families affected by extreme hardship and this extends to Indigenous new mothers who are trying to cope with motherhood with so few supplies," Ms Cooke said.

Treasure Boxes representatives met with the Director of Nursing from the Aboriginal Maternal Infant Care program and midwives from the Port Augusta Hospital, as well as the team from Uniting Country SA.

The organisation also visited Whyalla, Port Pirie and Ceduna, using the regional trip to find out what supplies were urgently needed.

Ms Cooke said the trip was organised after Treasure Boxes was approached by service agencies in Ceduna about their urgent need for baby supplies and equipment.

"We also wanted to visit other regional areas to discuss first-hand with communities about their current needs and how we might be able to help," she explained.

"We see this as a real first step in supporting regional communities and finding out what they need so we can work with them and use the resources we have to support them.

"We see this trip as a listening tour. We want to have an ongoing presence in these communities and continue to chat to them about the ways in which we can help."