Defence Force playgroup - a support network

Ripley Town Centre

Posted 6 Jun, 2019

Amberley Defence Families Inc. runs the Amberley Playgroup from Minka Place at Ripley Town Centre, providing an opportunity for families to engage with like-minded individuals in a safe, friendly and fun environment.

Jeremy Fitzsimmons, who has been a member of the playgroup for three years, said he first heard about it when his wife was working from the Amberley RAAF base.

“The playgroup allows my kids to interact with other children and I get the opportunity to talk with other caregivers who are in a similar situation,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.

“The location is also convenient with a mixture of indoor and outdoor play spaces, and the people who attend are incredibly supportive.

“Time spent at playgroup is just as important for the parents and caregivers as it is for the children.”

Jenni Balshaw agrees being apart of the playgroup gives her a mental break knowing that her boys are in a safe and nurturing environment.

“Being in a relationship where my husband is on a long deployment, adult company is something you crave. There are a lot of us in the same situation and it’s great to make new friends as well,” Ms Balshaw said.

Families currently meet twice a week on a Wednesday and Friday from 9:30am to 11:30am at Minka Place, with activities specifically run for the families and dependents of current-serving Australian Defence Force personnel, including the Army, RAAF and Navy.

To find out more, visit the Amberley Defence Families Inc. Playgroup Facebook page.