Some of the Geelong community’s most vulnerable children and young people were treated to a day of fun and entertainment recently, thanks to a grant provided by Geelong Connected Communities.
A $10,000 GCC grant was awarded to Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) as part of its 2021 Foster a Future Appeal, which raises funds for the organisation’s Out-of-Home Care (Foster Care) services. Funding from the Appeal directly supports children in care and recognises the efforts of Foster Carers for the difference they make in the lives of so many children and young people in our community.
Through the GCC funding, BCYF was able to provide Adventure Park passes for over 80 Foster Care families, which one Foster Carer explained provided a day of light-hearted entertainment that the child in her care would otherwise be unable to access.
“My husband and I provide fortnightly respite care for a foster child. This child lives with her aunt and uncle, who also have five children – so going on big family excursions can be expensive and difficult to coordinate,” the carer said.
“The child was so excited about going to Adventure Park and we had the best day going up and down waterslides and floating down the lazy river. It was great to hear her squeals of delight as we went down the Tornado. She loved every minute of it – and so did we. So much fun, thank you for the tickets!”.
BCYF’s Out-of-Home Care Manager, Jo Dumesny, said it was impossible to measure the benefits the GCC grant had provided to children and young people in care.
“Many children and young people in care have experienced traumatic events in their life, so being able to offer a fun recreational activity, and seeing the joy on their faces, really is invaluable,” she said.
Ms Dumesny said remaining GCC grant funds would go towards Mother’s Day hampers for BCYF’s Foster Mums, as a gesture of appreciation for the important role they play.
“On average, BCYF receives three referrals per day to place children and young people with a Foster Carer. Approximately half of these requests cannot be met due to insufficient carers in the Barwon region,” she said.
“Through Foster a Future initiatives, we are providing support for current and future foster care families to help provide safe, more stable and longer-term homes for children and young people needing care in our community.
“On behalf of BCYF, I would like to thank Geelong Connected Communities for their generous grant, which shows us that the organisation is as passionate as we are about supporting some of our most vulnerable children and young people.”