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What

The Greater Charitable Foundation is providing funding for programs in which Greater Bank staff mentor teenagers and young adults with cerebral palsy and related physical disabilities living in the Hunter and Central Coast Regions. These programs have been developed to help participants learn new skills, gain more confidence and prepare themselves for continued study or employment.  

Why

Every 15 hours, a child is born with cerebral palsy (CP) in Australia. It impacts not only the person with the disability, but also the families and carers of that individual.  There is currently no known cure for CP. Mentoring has been shown to be an effective tool in helping people with a disability to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem

How

The funded program for 2016 is Ignition. The Ignition Mentoring Program is aimed at teenagers aged 14-16 years, pairing them with a volunteer mentor from Greater Bank. They meet once a fortnight over nine months to build a positive and supportive relationship that assists the young person to develop a range of life skills. Parents are also provided the opportunity to build networks with other parents during the course of the program.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Impact

Therapy and support for CP is extremely costly. These programs are a welcomed and much needed support tool for those families and individuals affected by CP in our region. Not only do they help to facilitate community participation and social engagement for young people living with CP, the programs also help to increase disability awareness, creating a more inclusive environment for people living with a disability.

Through nine years of supporting these programs, there have been some truly inspirational outcomes. From participants gaining work or being accepted into University, to staff building ongoing friendships with their mentees that continue long after the program has finished. Some participants have also participated in work placement at Greater Bank. Greater Bank volunteer mentors have also been recognised at the 2014 and 2015 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award ceremonies for their support of this program.

Mentoring Testimonial

Greater Bank Volunteer Mentor

"Prior to becoming involved with the mentoring programs, I had no real understanding of what cerebral palsy was or its impact on people's lives. These young adults face all the various challenges that we did growing up, with the added challenge of a physical disability that can severely impact their body movement. Becoming involved in these programs is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. "

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