In celebration of International Women’s Day (8th of March), this week, we are showcasing the determination, achievements and unique abilities of women in our Afford community.

International Women’s Day is recognised around the world and celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year theme is #ChoosetoChallenge to create change and a more inclusive world.

At Afford, we challenge and support every individual to have confidence in their unique abilities and do the things they love. Everyone has different goals for life, but all can be achieved with support, encouragement and a willingness to challenge.

It will be hard to come by a more determined and talented young woman than Lauren. She attends our Windsor Community Centre five days a week, where she enjoys one-to-one support to work towards her goals.

While Lauren comes across as a shy young lady, her amazing craft creations showcase inner talents that are inspirations to us all.

Lauren has been part of the Afford community for some time now and was supported to join a beading class. Over the years, Lauren has made hundreds of pieces of jewellery. She has made so many that last year she decided that she wanted to sell her creations.

With determination and excitement, Lauren took a professional approach to her business. She designed and ordered her own business cards. Then with support, Lauren decided to create a photo album with pictures of her hand made jewellery that she wants to sell. Each week using her phone, Lauren takes a picture of her creation then goes to Big W to print them. The next step for Lauren, is to learn how to price her jewellery. For now, Lauren is happy give her jewellery away to her friends.

She has also entered her beaded wares into craft competitions at the Hawkesbury Show and won second place for her bracelet. For her headband in the wired bead jewellery category, Lauren received a high commendation.

This year, Lauren is incorporating her beading talents with a new skill – sewing! After watching Barbie and the Three Musketeers, Lauren wanted to make the cape that she saw on the show. With support she has learned to use a sewing machine and purchase material to make a cape. In a few short weeks, Lauren’s sewing skills have advanced significantly. She has created a beautiful purple and gold cape with intricate trimming. She wants to wear it at Affords Got Talent!

Lauren’s next sewing creation – a beautiful red skirt – is from Snow White and the Red Shoes.

Lauren aims to enter her creations in this year’s Hawkesbury Show, where she hopes to win again.

This young woman’s achievements aren’t just confined to arts and crafts. Every week, Lauren attends the local Woolworths store for work experience. She diligently puts stock away if it is out of place and makes sure that her tasks are completed with care and precision.

In addition to the work experience at Woolworths, Lauren also volunteers once a week at Polly’s Beads in Penrith – after all, this is where her passion for beading began!

With one-on-one support at Windsor Community Centre, Lauren has been able to focus on achieving her goals. She is a determined young lady who doesn’t give up and perseveres until she succeeds.

Her dedication and passion are an inspiration and one that we are so proud to celebrate, particularly around International Women’s Day.


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