Calvary Adelaide and Catherine House are helping women claim a better life for themselves

L-R Jackie Matters, Catherine House Program Manager and Natania Huff, Calvary Rehabilitation Hospital Physiotherapist

Catherine House is an Adelaide-based supported accommodation service for women, providing emergency housing, post-crisis services and addressing mental health and a range of other issues. The Catherine House Women’s Centre provides health and wellbeing, social and community engagement activities and educational opportunities and experiences to help women re-imagine and claim a better life for themselves.

As part of Calvary Health Care Adelaide’s mission of “being for others”, a valued connection with Catherine House has been evolving over the last eighteen months via the introduction of a fortnightly, low-impact strengthening exercise class run by Natania Huff, Physiotherapist at Calvary Rehabilitation Hospital.

. Natania has developed an exercise format for women at the Centre that is inclusive, regardless of age, fitness and health-related considerations:

“The women who have attended so far, arrive with a variety of exercise experiences. Some have attended gyms and value being active; others have ongoing pain issues and are willing to give the class a try. Using my Physiotherapy skills and experience, it is my intention to make all women feel that this exercise class will be safe, approachable and beneficial for them. Informal feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, reinforced by familiar faces returning for every session run this year,” said Natania.

“Being able to leverage our health care expertise to assist those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged in our local communities is a central commitment of Calvary Health Care Adelaide,” commented Director of Mission, Dr. Susan Holoubek. “Our executive team is keen to look at ways in which we can develop such services, in line with the vision and mission of Mary Potter and the historical commitment of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary.”

From February 2017 exercise classes will also be provided direct to Catherine House residents in the permanent supported accommodation program.

“To be able to offer this as an in-house activity is just great,” said Jackie Matters, Program Manager. “It enables our residents to feel safe enough to try something and participate in a bit of fun and structured social interaction with each other. I am so pleased that Calvary is prepared to offer this service.”