Wayside has celebrated some huge achievements recently for Chris and Esther, two visitors in our Aboriginal Program. Our Community Hall was filled with joy and happiness when Chris and Esther renewed their vows in front of family, friends, staff and volunteers.
The joy continued the week after when Esther, a participant in our Numeracy and Literacy Program, found out that a review she wrote of A Winter’s Tale impressed the team at Bell Shakespeare so much that they put it on their website.
First married four years ago, Chris and Esther have come a long way since they last exchanged vows. They’ve been faced with long periods of homelessness and have struggled with drug addictions but with support from Monique and Will in Wayside’s Aboriginal Program, they have turned their lives around. They are now in stable housing and have fought and beaten their addictions.
Determined to make a better life for themselves, they started taking part in the Numeracy and Literacy Program offered at Wayside. Supported by volunteers and a TAFE teacher, both Chris and Esther have worked tirelessly over the past year to improve their reading and writing.
As part of the Literacy and Numeracy Program, Chris and Esther were asked to write a story about their wedding.
Chris: “Esther and I spoke to each other about renewing our vows so we had our caseworker, Monique, get some invitations made and printed them out. I made a list of people that my wife and I agreed on and then we handed them out. We had the wedding on the 18th May at The Wayside Chapel. We had Father Graham help us with our wedding clothes and Sissy helped Esther with her make up. We had lots of photos taken, then after that we had a get together where everyone had a great yarn with each other. It feels so great to be married to the love of my life.”
Esther: “There is a place in Sydney in the middle of the city called The Wayside Chapel. The people who work there are so beautiful and they do a lot of things for people. When me and my husband were married that’s where it was. The priest, Father Graham helped with my wedding dress and my husband Chris’ suit. It was the best day of my life. Mon, Annelise and Sissy helped us with everything. We were so happy with what everyone did. The people that work there are very sweet and genuine. There are a lot of people that go there for a lot of different reasons.”
You can help support Chris and Esther and many others like them by making a donation to The Wayside Chapel.