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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.

Get Fit for Homeless Youth – 30 day fitness challenge

PIF 30 Day Fitness Challenge

We have joined the fundraising efforts of the Property Industry Association (PIF) to fight youth homelessness with a 30 day fitness challenge which aims to raise $250,000 – will you support us?

Check out who of the Burdekin team has signed up for the PIF 30 Day Fitness Challenge, we would love it if you could support us! We have set a modest aim to raise $1,000, every single donation counts! And of course, we would like to overshoot the goal and contribute as much as possible to the overall goal.

About

PIF wish to raise $250,000 towards The Haven Project which includes the renovation of a house in Balgowlah into a new home for young people. You can read more about the project here: New Home in the Making and here: Haven House Balgowlah. We wanted to thank PIF so much for their efforts in getting this fundraiser off the ground for our project partners – SMLXL Projects, Bridge Housing and others, such an amazing community effort!

Burdekin are getting active in the name of team building, mental health, and physical health, but most importantly to Get Fit to For Homeless Youth.

#pif30daychallenge #getfitforhomelessyouth

Youth homelessness affects 44,000 young Australians, and each night, 1 in 3 young people are being turned away from supported accommodation services.

The Property Industry Foundation exists to solve this problem of youth homelessness. We bring together the property and construction industry to build homes for homeless youth through our Haven Project.

Every day for 30 days from 2 – 31 May, we are walking, running, cycling and everything in between to raise funds as we go – please support us!

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CREATE Case Worker Award Winner for NSW

We have award winning staff!

We have amazing news! Burdekin’s own Narelle Young has won the inaugural CREATE Case Worker Award! Narelle was nominated by one of the young people she supports. The CREATE award selects just one winner per state. We are very proud that Narelle has won in NSW!

Of course, we have known all along how amazing Narelle is – BUT this is wonderful personal recognition for her. We want to congratulate Narelle on this fantastic achievement and thank the young person who has spent the time to nominate her. Also, thanks to the CREATE Foundation for facilitating the conference and award.

The CREATE Foundation Voices in Action Conference was held from 26th – 29th April and featured the inaugural CREATE Case Worker Awards highlighting the appreciation of service and dedication by outstanding professionals in the child protection sector.

The announcements were made during the Closing Session on Day 2, 27 April 2022 with the Overall Australian Winner presented by the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley.

Here is Narelle’s acceptance speech:

A bit about the CREATE Case Worker Awards:

Behind the scenes, the awards are entirely led and coordinated by a group of passionate young people who know what a difference a great Case Worker can make. CREATE’s Case Worker Awards acknowledge excellence in casework for children and young people with care experience. Our Case Worker Advisory Group gathered nominations from across every state and territory in Australia.

CREATE said:

Congratulations on being an amazing role model and advocate for children and young people in out-of-home care. These awards are very special. It is the first time that we have held them, so you are a part of witnessing history in the making.

Many young people tell us how important their case workers are to them – a case worker who listens, understands, does what they said they’d do and is there for you when you need them can make the difference between a good experience within the care system and a bad one. We know that there are many great case workers – dedicated, hard-working, and really invested in helping children and young people, and we wanted to acknowledge their contribution.

New home in the making

Alleviating youth homelessness in the community

An exciting new property renovation is on the way to being a new home for our young people.

The Property Industry Foundation (PIF), SMLXL Projects and Bridge Housing have teamed up with us in support of our Youth Housing Program to renovate a two-bedroom house – Haven House in Balgowlah – with Bridge Housing administering the lease arrangements with the young people.

Graham Bargwanna from the Burdekin Association had this to say:

The Burdekin Association are so thrilled and grateful for the support of The Property Industry Foundation and SMLXL Projects in creating a beautiful home for the young people who have been on our waiting list for housing.  We so appreciate not only the generosity of their money, time and skills, but also the enthusiasm in which they are undertaking this project.  Housing for vulnerable homeless young people is in extremely short supply.  We are so excited this project is happening!

Work is about to commence and expected to be completed by the end of May.

PIF work collaboratively with several charities to break the cycle of youth homelessness, including the Burdekin Association. Their aim is to change lives for the better and as part of their work PIF connects us regularly with other organisations so we, in turn, can alleviate child and youth homelessness. One such organisation is SMLXL Projects, a fabulous company whose staff have thrown their weight behind renovating this new property.

Bridge Housing provides long-term accommodation for people on low to moderate incomes through their property portfolio across Sydney. For Haven House Bridge Housing will be the community housing provider managing the property on behalf of the “owner” (the Land and Housing Commission). The young people who live in the property will enter into a lease with Bridge Housing. 

The Burdekin Association is the youth services provider responsible for the case management of each young person living in the house.

You can view more about the project over on the PIF website, thank you so much to our supporters – we can’t wait to see the final result and if this inspires you to become involved, please reach out – we would love to hear from you!

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.