Mandurah's Work for the Dole participants bridge the gap for single parents

In a bid to assist the Mandurah’s single parents, Work for the Dole participants at Bridging the Gap have teamed up to create the ultimate survival guide for sole parents. 

The guide, created in conjunction with The Salvation Army’s Employment Plus program, shares advice around wellbeing, relationships, health, finances and resources to assist parents navigating sole parenthood. 

The book discusses issues ranging from how to deal with grief to where to take children for a fun day out, it includes meal recipes and shares a template to assist parents in weekly budgeting.

The whole book has been put together by the program participants, who researched the topics, sourced the images and designed the layout of the book.

In addition to learning skills such as writing research articles, referencing and copyright law, the participants also had the chance to learn about layout software and distribution.

For program participant Clinton Alver the project was an opportunity to broaden his computer skills and learn more about book publishing.

The 22-year-old, who studied accounting and finance at TAFE, had the chance to put his budgeting skills to the test, write research articles and give graphic design a go.

“When I first came here I wasn’t really too sure what needed to be done because I didn’t know anything about making books or making publications,” he said.

“I learned so much, I learned how to make research articles, I learned how to use a shared drive to work with people.

“I know all the ins and outs now if I want to start making another book."

Mr Alver said he believed the skills he had learned since getting involved with the project in July would assist him in future employment.

“Now I can always say that I have worked on a book project and that I know how to use Microsoft Publisher, which is something I didn’t learn when I was studying at TAFE so that’s another skill,” he said.

“This is actually useful, it demonstrates your competence it doesn’t declare your competence like a certificate, it actually demonstrates what you can do. “

Project facilitator Bronwen McDonald said the project had been a great opportunity for the participants to improve their team work skills, learn about structure, work around deadlines and listen to other people’s suggestions.

“Overall it’s just been fantastic,” she said.

“They’ve produced a great book and they’ve gotten on really well.”

The book will be available for free at service providers, not-for-profits and administration buildings around Mandurah.