Healing young hearts
ANGLICARE WA was forced to shut a Mandurah office of its Young Hearts program, reduce staffing in Rockingham and cancel group sessions last year because of a shortfall in funding.
Young Hearts is a counselling service for children who have been victims of or witnessed family domestic violence.
Businessman Warwick Hemsley has supported the program since its inception in 2009, along with Telethon and Austal in Henderson, but the service does not receive state or federal government funding.
However, Anglicare WA chief executive Ian Carter said the organisation was building a strong business case to be eligible for government funding.
“We have a strong focus on measuring the outcomes and building an environment to get funding for programs like this,” Mr Carter said.
“Some kids come into the program at a trauma scale of eight-plus out of 10 and are leaving at the three or four mark.
“Young Hearts has a quantum impact.”
Mr Carter said the State Government had made some important early steps to address family domestic violence by appointing a Minister for Prevention of Family Domestic Violence and changing legislation.
Anglicare WA has hosted the annual Op Shop Ball for the past nine years to help fund programs like Young Hearts, but has launched a new concept this year – Angels Rising, a fundraising dinner with entertainment and auctions at St George’s Cathedral, with only 300 tickets available.
It will be the first black-tie event of its kind at the cathedral.
Anglicare WA chairman John Barrington said money raised at the Angels Rising event, along with other funding, would ensure the organisation could re-open its Mandurah service.
“Young Hearts is responding to a need in the community, but also proactively breaks the cycle for future generations,” he said.
While Mr Hemsley said he would miss choosing a “weird and wacky” outfit for this year’s Anglicare WA fundraiser, Angels Rising would be different to anything else on the Perth event calendar, and set in an iconic and unique environment.
‘It’s all about coming together as a community and focusing on children who experience or witness family domestic violence,” he said.
“You can see the positive impact it (Anglicare WA) has on the lives of vulnerable people in the community.
“We all know that often children are the innocent victims of their circumstances and they’ve played no part in the circumstances or environment they find themselves in.”
Warwick Hemsley with Anglicare WA chairman John Barrington at St George's Cathedral, where the Angels Rising dinner will be held.