A quick update on our Christmas Fundraising Campaign. As you probably know, we aimed to raise money for our Youth Development Fund as well as fulfill the gift wishes of our young people.
As always, our community was incredibly generous with the supply of gifts, vouchers and cash,, all of which goes directly to the children and young people in our care.
As our organisation continues to grow and the number of young people in our care too, your support is more important than ever. YOU, make a huge difference to the vulnerable young people in our care.
Below is a glimpse into who made Christmas 2022 possible, there are so many more behind the scenes.
In total the value of the gifts, vouchers and cash reached $29,870. With more than 100 children and young people to shop for, we were able to bring many smiles on Christmas morning. Gifts were delivered by our very own elves, who also deserve huge credit for their tireless work making sure that each and every young person had a special Christmas.
Thank you so, so much to our amazing community for making moments like this happen – you guys are amazing! We look forward to another year making things happen with you by our side!!
We are delighted to share with you, a recent project undertaken by Better Homes and Gardens on the behalf of our young people.
Recently, the team undertook a garden transformation project at one of our properties in Manly turning it into an impressive multi-purpose entertain and relaxing area that will benefit a number of our young people.
The property now has a beautiful pergola with outdoor furniture, hammock, new basketball/badminton set-up, lots of fabulous new plants and herbs and even a new BBQ! The space has been transformed just in time for summer so everyone can enjoy spending time outdoors.
Thank you so much to Juliet and Charlie and all the Better Homes and Gardens team for this stunning asset for our young people. Did You Catch: Summer Ready Backyard? This episode aired on Channel 7 on Friday 25th November and you can catch up on 7plus.
We have been able to decorate our properties for our young people thanks to the donations from our amazing community!
We really want to make this time of year as magical as possible, Christmas, while it comes with a mixed bag of emotions, is also a great opportunity to build up a new bank of positive memories and traditions for the future.
22 handmade wreaths were donated to us to decorate our properties where our young people live – which is just amazing, see in the photo below how we used them.
Oxford Falls Grammar School
Thanks to the staff and students from Oxford Falls Grammar for these amazing Christmas hampers – the children and young people in our care will be so excited! Thank you so so much for your ongoing support!
We have received numerous donations from individuals and organisations. Our Patron, Brian Burdekin, AO has pledged $5000 towards our Youth Development Fund.
Burdekin’s Youth Housing Program currently support ten Tibetan and other Culturally and Linguistic Diverse (CALD) young people aged 16-24 years residing in our short term and transitional housing at a residential property in Manly.
These young people have experienced substantial trauma in their young lives, many currently experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression and currently live in a community setting with small studio rooms and shared bathrooms.
Luckily there is a small garden area, however it was severely damaged by recent floods and unsafe for use and unpleasant to look at.
About the grant
The objective of the grant was to develop a community wellbeing project that strengthens social connectedness and resilience. Due to the impact of the severe weather conditions on the Northern Beaches the Northern Sydney PHN made available grants to increase delivery of community wellbeing and mental health supports through activities that strengthen social connectedness, resilience and wellbeing for communities in response to extreme weather events.
Burdekin successfully applied for funding from The Northern Sydney PHN to lighten up the lives of these young residents, to enhance their spiritual wellbeing and build resilience, and to show that you can overcome the risks of poor health outcomes and step into a level of mindful positivity – a safe space. Access to a peaceful garden provides opportunities to gather socially together or with family and friends, to take time out to read, practice yoga, meditate, garden or undertake other wellbeing activities.
Our goal was to replace overgrown vegetation, remove dead grass, replace with new soil and grass, remove/fix unsafe pathway, place drainage, and install low maintenance blooming plants with a variety of ground cover. Our landscaper Oceanic Landscapes also installed items to enhance the garden such as a garden bench, Bali style artifacts, a tree of life wall feature, a Buddha head planter and various other art works. The young residents were consulted in the design to incorporate their ideas, creating a sense of belonging and connectedness to the space.
A working bee was organised with the community and young residents to remove old furniture – leaving a blank space for the landscaper.
The transformation is amazing – Oceanic Landscapes went above and beyond for our residents in creating a welcoming, safe space to be enjoyed by everyone. Community-led initiatives such as these are fundamentally important to wellbeing and we would like to thank our funders The Northern Sydney PHN for the opportunity and Oceanic Landscapes for completing our vision with such care and commitment.
The NSW government has announced universal extended care to 21 years for young people in state care (from February 2023). We are thrilled to have played a small part in this.
Campaigning across the country for the leaving care age to be lifted from 18 to 21 years of age has been significant. Many States have committed to further support for young people and over the weekend 5/6 November 2022 NSW joined the other State and Territories by committing to extending the supports currently in place for up to 18 year old to up to 21 years old young people. This age extension of 3 years will make a direct difference to young people in foster care and we look forward to making this work for our young people.
We would like to recognise Alex who is one of our young people and thank him and all the young people involved in the campaign for speaking up. We couldn’t have done it without you.
‘We thank all the young people, those with lived experience and others, who championed this effort. Ensuring young people in care have a fair, equitable, robust and real opportunity for all that life brings is what we all strive for’.
Justene Gordon, CEO, The Burdekin Association
The Home Stretch campaign, launched in 2015 advocating for the leaving care arrangements for young people in State care to be extended from 18 to 21 nationally. With NSW’s commitment, Home Stretch is the most significant child welfare reform in a generation, now supported in every Australian state or territory.
Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC made this historic announcement, congratulations to all involved including the NSW OOHC sector and everyone – especially the young people – who have advocated for this reform. Together, we did it! We#madeit21! Congratulations also to the Chair of Home Stretch and CEO of Anglicare Victoria Paul McDonald for his tireless work.