Heal­ing young hearts

Kwinana Courier - - News -

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.”

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d472976

War­wick Hem­s­ley with Anglicare WA chair­man John Bar­ring­ton at St Ge­orge's Cathe­dral, where the An­gels Ris­ing din­ner will be held.

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