‘I’ve never seen my kids so happy.’ How Mimi’s House is supporting Queensland families

'If it wasn’t for Mimi’s House, we wouldn’t be where we are today.'

Wayne and Natasha Patel are proud parents of five children.

After spending more than a year homeless as a family, they moved to Queensland’s Moreton Bay region about eight years ago. It was here where they were introduced to Mimi’s House, a SVA venture partner and early intervention program that supports primary school children at risk of falling out of the school system.

The Patel family started working with Mimi’s House in July 2016, when Chantelle, their eldest daughter, eight-years-old at the time, began to attend the program one day a week.

“Mimi’s has really helped Chantelle come out of her shell more than what she had been,” Wayne says.

“I’ve never seen my kids so happy.”

Learning how to cook was Chantelle’s favourite part of the program.

“She was giving her neighbours recipes from Mimi’s, inspiring others to do more,” Natasha says.

“She wants to do the same for other kids.”

The program hasn’t just helped the Patel children. Both mum and dad have benefited too.

Wayne connected with the male Mimi’s House family support worker and Natasha enjoyed the Mimi’s House Mother’s Pamper Day.

As Wayne and Natasha grew comfortable with the program, they began to seek more support, both from within Mimi’s House and outside the program.

“If it wasn’t for Mimi’s House, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Natasha says.

“I’m so proud of where we are – there’s no holding us back!”

Last year Mimi’s House supported 51 children, and helped 29 families connect with local services. Children taking part in the program show improved ability to pay attention to class, improved behaviour – including feeling more physically composed and having fewer fears and worries.

Over the course of 2017, SVA’s venture philanthropy team helped Mimi’s House commence the development of an evaluation framework to help demonstrate the social impact of the program, brokered pro bono marketing and legal services and $205,000 in financial support, and provided pitch coaching which led to additional fundraising.

SVA and our program partners continue to work towards an Australia where all people and communities thrive – and you can help. Please contact Katie McLeish and our Partnerships team to discuss the impact you can have by making a tax deductible gift to SVA.

Find out about our other Venture Partners in our 2017 Venture Philanthropy Impact Report.

Many thanks to our philanthropic supporters: Bryan Family Foundation, Quinn Femelle PAF and Montgomery Investment Management for supporting SVA’s partnership with Mimi’s House.