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Celebrate our Volunteers with us

We recently celebrated National Volunteers Week as well as the second anniversary of the Burdekin Volunteer Program so, we saw this as a perfect time to celebrate our volunteers and all they do for our young people with an appreciation dinner. Of course we appreciate our volunteers every day of the week.

Just like our dinner last year, our volunteers received certificates of appreciation for their extraordinary contribution during the challenging times over the past two years as we navigated working with Covid-19. We acknowledged particularly the huge impact a trusted adult can have on the life of a young person, especially one who has experienced childhood trauma.

It really has been a time like no other and we thank each and every volunteer!

We have recently just completed another round of volunteer training and cannot wait to welcome new recruits into the team. We are currently in the process of “matching” some of our volunteer recruits with clients. We take this process seriously, looking at the skills, interests and availability of the volunteer and thinking through who might be the most suitable young person and whether they’re ready for a new adult in their lives. Many of our young people have lost trust in adults so it’s important that they are in a good place to be ready and willing to meet with a volunteer mentor. When the match works well, it is brilliant and over time, a very strong bond can develop. As one of our young clients said, “it’s so good that there’s someone who wants to meet with me who isn’t paid to meet with me.”

In the meantime, if you would like to know more about volunteering we have lots of information on our website, you might like to start here and then search volunteer. Please get in touch if you are interested and we will let you know once the dates for the next sessions have been confirmed – we love hearing from you. If you have any questions, please email: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

Reasons to consider Foster Care

Young people in need of homes

Right here, in Sydney, there are children and young people in need of a safe and stable home. A home could be provided by one person, two people or any existing family unit. Whether the home mimics a traditional family, or a non-traditional family type unit, is not as important as whether young people have a safe place and nurturing carers.

Could this be you?

Could you provide a safe, caring and nurturing environment to provide the foundation to overcome challenges in order for a young person to live their life to their full of potential? Could you experience the privilege of walking side by side a young person as they grow, as their personality begins to emerge, and they find their footing and grow in confidence?

As at June 2020, in Australia almost 46,000 children were in out-of-home care.

Being a Foster Carer with us

The children and young people in our care are considered ‘older’, as they are between the ages of 9 and 18, but most of our children and young people are teenagers. Embarking on a journey as a carer may appear challenging but it need not be, at Burdekin we are able to support you through your journey to becoming a carer and will walk alongside you each step of the journey. As a Burdekin Foster Carer you are part of a team. We don’t stop providing support following your initial training, our team provide ongoing, wrap-around support on an ongoing basis. This included post placement with a young person in care.

We would love to hear from you if you think you could provide a safe place for one of these young people – we can also support you with accommodation, if that may be a barrier to providing care for young people.

Children and young people who are in the Out of Home Care system have all come from “hard places”. They all have a history of trauma and broken attachments and that may mean that as a carer, you may need to learn to manage their big feelings and emotions with a little more skills and training, but we will be working alongside you to provide you with that support. Remember that older foster children and young people are just like any children and young people – in need of love, stability, and a secure home, to thrive. These bright individuals will have stuff to work through, building a connection may take a bit of time, but if you hang in there, you may get to see the walls come down as you learn more about them and they learn to trust you.

Are you a little bit curious about how it would work for you? Please chat to us and find out how it’s possible.

Our Burdekin Volunteer Program turns two!

We are holding Volunteer Training Dates in May

It is two years since we started a Volunteer Program back in May 2020 during National Volunteers Week. Since then, we have gone on to recruit wonderful volunteers doing amazing things for us and our young people. Or maybe the volunteers recruited us because it is definitely a win-win relationship.

Read more about what our current volunteers are doing here.

To celebrate our 2nd birthday we are launching our next volunteer recruitment drive with training scheduled for:

Thursday 19th May from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and one further day the following week to be confirmed depending on time availability of volunteers, also held via zoom – both training dates are compulsory to become a Burdekin Volunteer.

If you love young people and have between 2 and 4 hours to donate per week this might be for you! Make a difference to the lives of young people and your community. Above all you will also meet new people, gain new skills and enhance your own wellbeing.

Volunteering your time, skills, and resources is one of the most powerful ways to make a difference, to help others, and as it turns out, to enhance your wellbeing.

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 16 – 22 May 2022. This year’s theme is Better Together. Volunteering brings people together; it builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. Will you join us? You won’t regret it!

To register for this course, please complete an Expression of Interest form or email: volunteer@burdekin.org.au.

More on volunteering with Burdekin:

Volunteer with Burdekin, Skilled Volunteers and Current Vacancies.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day

Supporting young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

Youth Homelessness Matters Day on April 20th, raises awareness about youth homelessness and advocates learning about and understanding youth homelessness, stimulates debate for change and advocates to support those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

Current stats:

Current statistics show, that on any given night, around 28,000 young people do not have a bed of their own to sleep in, they might be couch-surfing with mates, squeezing into crisis accommodation or sleeping on the streets – some people might not even recognise themselves they are indeed homeless.

From their information in the 2016 Census the ABS reported: On any given night in Australia 116,427 Australians are homeless. 27,680 of these are young people aged 12-24 years.

Regardless of what we might think, young people become homeless almost always due to no fault of their own. The main causes are family breakdown, domestic and family violence and the ongoing housing crisis.

The Youth Homelessness Matters Day campaign for 2022:

Their stories

Many of the young people who come to us have experienced multiple challenges in their short, young lives and we provide the support they need to reach their full potential.

At Burdekin, we believe every young person has the right to a life that offers opportunities to fulfil their potential. Many of our young people have gone on to have happy, healthy and successful lives because we were able to provide them with the support that they needed. You can read some of the stories from our young people here.

You can support our work in many different ways – in kind, in cash and in time. 

Make a donation:

Welcoming neighbours bearing gifts…

Our new office in the Inner West

As many of you know, we recently moved to a new address in the Inner West and our arrival hasn’t gone unnoticed by our lovely new neighbours!

As a welcoming gift, the guys over at Franke Coffee have very generously loaned us one of their machines so our staff can enjoy a good cuppa. This gesture has really brightened our start here and eased the hassle of settling in.

Unknown to the Franke team, our staff had recently requested a coffee machine and we had to turn them down due to lack of funds. We are often presented with challenging work and when our community goes out of their way like this that really lifts our spirits!

Thank you to David Downing and the team for your kind gesture towards the arrival of your new neighbours and what we might need – community helping hands at their best.