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We’ve been awarded a FutureSteps Grant!

Stanmore House, a property to be renovated using the FutureSteps grant program.

The Burdekin Association is excited to reveal that we are the recipient of a FutureSteps Grant of $89,000 to be spent on renovating one of the houses we manage for young people transitioning from out of home care to semi-independent living in Sydney. The grant will help three additional young people transition into semi-independent living through the better use of space in the property. 

What is FutureSteps?

FutureSteps is a Lendlease Social Impact Fund that’s grounded in the belief that everyone needs to call a place home. Lendlease partners with The Burdekin Association to achieve long term impact through increasing the availability of safe and appropriate housing, the number of pathways to education and employment, and participation in the community. 

The FutureSteps Social Impact Fund focuses on addressing homelessness and increasing housing supply for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The grants typically awarded range in amounts between $20,000 and $100,000 and one of their target groups includes young people. 

It all came about on Community Day – a day when Lendlease volunteers spend their time and skills to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. Thirty volunteers spent a day at our property doing painting, gardening, picture hanging, furniture building and much more in Stanmore. Katherine Bushell from Lendlease suggested that we apply for the FutureSteps grant. It took us one month to put it all together.

Claire Oxlade, Property and Asset Lead at The Burdekin Association

“Our tradie, Kevin, looked at our plans to reconfigure the layout of the space at the property to accommodate three more young people. He suggested that it would work,” continued Claire.  

During the grant application process, we submitted the property’s plans, renovation costings, and explained how we would reconfigure the layout of the property to create the extra space for an additional three young people in our care. For Lendlease to give us the entire grant – $89,000 – is amazing! We will be able to use the space more sensibly.

Claire Oxlade, Property and Asset Lead at The Burdekin Association

A self-contained two-bedroom unit can now be created at the front of the property. This reconfiguration will help to provide wraparound care for the young person living there – as they will remain close to staff and the other young people living in the remainder of the house, but also have space to themselves. It will potentially be perfect for a young single parent, who may need support, but also privacy and quiet.

The reconfiguration will also involve the renovation of the current staff office space and combined kitchen into a studio staff office / bedroom / kitchenette. 

“The staff at the property use the office a great deal, and renovating the current space to allow them to work and then be able to sleep overnight in a comfortable area will make such a difference,” Claire continued.

A staff bedroom upstairs at the property will then be released, to be used by an additional young person. 

The project has enthused local architect and sessional academic, Jamileh Jahangiri of Orsi Architecture Studio, who met with Burdekin staff members during a recent networking event. She has offered to provide her architectural knowledge free of charge and will project manage the renovation of the property. Jamileh will provide concept designs, design briefs and a schedule of proposed materials and finishes and furniture layouts. She is keen to see how the young residents can be involved in the renovation process – choosing paint colours, designing the layout of the rooms, and learning a bit of design along the way. 

If there are funds remaining once these renovations are complete, we hope to remove the kitchen cabinets, making the main kitchen more open plan, allowing for ‘Master Chef’ style cooking workshops to be held for the young people.

It’s so exciting. We wouldn’t normally be able to do anything like this. If we can make it more homely, well that’s my mission accomplished

Claire Oxlade, Property and Asset Lead at The Burdekin Association

What next?

The Burdekin Association is always looking for suppliers of white goods – fridges, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, air fryers and blenders, along with coffee tables, BBQs, outdoor furniture and kitchen utensils – to help our young people live comfortably in such a home. To donate a white good or to help our young people, please click here.  

NSW makes it 21!

NSW Makes it 21

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

About

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.

Timeline

NSW government media release: Support for care leavers in NSW makes history

Home Stretch media release: NSW Government commitment locks in most significant child welfare reform in a generation

CREATE Foundation media release: CREATE APPLAUDS HISTORIC MOMENT AS NSW GOV MAKES IT 21!

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.

Left to right – Paul McDonald, Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Liz Knight and Mohita Kapoor attending the announcement.

Media coverage:

Read other posts from Burdekin about this campaign:

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people of the Cadigal and Gayamaygal Clans. We acknowledge the Country on which we live, work, and gather as being Aboriginal land.

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We deeply respect that this will always be Aboriginal land and we will honour and follow the first peoples’ values in caring for the Country and for preserving their culture.

We deeply value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest living culture in the world and we will continue to work with their peoples and communities to ensure their cultures endure and remain strong.