“It all started when we moved to Toowoomba earlier this year,” says Alisha Christie, moderator of the Toowoomba Mums At The Table group. “I had been a member of the Gold Coast group. After we moved, I wanted to have a group up here too, so that I could meet other mums.”
Alisha created the Toowoomba Mums At The Table Facebook group in March 2021. With the assistance of advertising, the group grew quickly, gaining almost 200 members within the first month. Alisha decided it was time to start meeting face-to-face.
“We started running a playgroup at the Glenvale Adventist Church hall, which is also called the Abundant Living Centre,” says Alisha. “They used to run a playgroup many years ago. All the equipment and toys were still here, so I didn’t have to buy new things, which was a blessing.”
Seven families attended the first playgroup. Three of those families were from the local community. By October 2021, 15 mums were attending the playgroup, with around 10 of them from the community.
“We try to do social meet-ups at least once a month,” Alisha shares. “There are a couple of cafes with enclosed play areas around. We also enjoy going to parks and we’re thinking of doing a pool day as we come into summer.”
In 2022, the Toowoomba group is planning some exciting initiatives such as guest speakers who will do special presentations for the mums.
“The local church is extremely supportive of the group and wants to make it one of the main ministries. We’ll reach out to our church community and the connections they have to the local community as well,” says Alisha.
“We’re thinking of having a lactation consultant come in, and someone who can speak about postnatal depression. We would like to offer healthy snacks and share healthy homemade recipes—like the stuff we have on Mums At The Table. Maybe even some social date nights for the parents.”
When asked whether she enjoys her role as Mums At The Table Facebook moderator, Alisha is quick to answer in the affirmative.
“I find it really fulfilling,” she says. “I enjoy being able to reach out to other mums who are having a rough time and give them a word of encouragement. Recently we had one mum who didn’t come to playgroup because she was having a ‘bad mental health day’. I privately messaged her and asked how she was doing. This is what God has put in front of me to do. I’m able to be a mum and minister to other mums who are in the trenches as well!”
Mums At The Table is a ministry of Adventist Media that provides support and encouragement to mums by fostering digital connections and building face-to-face relationships. The Toowoomba group is one of 23 groups in Australia and New Zealand. Find out more at MumsAtTheTable.com.