Community blooms at floristry course

A joint venture between TAFE and Sydney Catholic schools in Ashfield is uniting the local community and equipping parents with a valuable new skill.

Organisers of a floristry course being run at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School Ashfield, and involving Bethlehem College Ashfield and De La Salle College Ashfield, were delighted to have 30 sign-ups for the program, doubling the expected 15.

Classes began at the start of Term 3, and St Vincent’s Family Educator Sinead Kent said attendees are a mix of parents, grandparents and local parishioners.

One group of attendees already has plans to use their new skills to create flowers for an upcoming Mass and celebration, and a number of mothers have been asking detailed questions about how they could use their new skills to start a shop or home business.

The course demonstrates for them and their children that we never stop learning.

– Sinead Kent

“We have a lot of families in our area where the fathers work outside the home and the mothers raise children,” Ms Kent said. “A lot of them are now coming up to the point where their youngest child is starting school. The course reminds them that they’re able to learn the skills they need if they’d like to return to the paid workforce, and demonstrates for them and their children that we never stop learning.”

Angela Carisio, whose four children have all attended St Vincent’s, now plans to study a Certificate II in Floristry after she completes the initial course at the end of the term.

“I’d always thought about floristry, but having four children you have to put being a mum first,” Ms Carisio said. “What this has done for me is say ‘yes you can do it’, whereas before I thought it was too hard.”

Participants undertake practical training for two hours each Friday morning or afternoon, and also attend a one-hour session on the practicalities of moving forward with floristry or other training and the basics of running a small business. Sessions also include a prayer and provide opportunities for participants to socialise and meet others from their local area.

The initiative mirrors similar programs at several other Sydney Catholic schools, including a floristry course recently run at Patrician Brothers College Fairfield for refugee families.

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