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Change installation celebrates 5 years of GCF funding

A pop-up art installation comprising more than three thousand pin wheels spelling out the word “change” will be constructed in Newcastle’s Civic Park on July 8 as part of the five year anniversary celebration of the Greater Charitable Foundation.

An impact report prepared by UK-based consultants New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) to mark the Foundation’s five years of grant-making, shows that since establishment in 2011 the Foundation’s funding support has helped more than 25,000 people in communities throughout NSW and south-east Queensland. The funding was also leveraged by 40 per cent of the charities to attract further funding and in-kind support.

As well as providing $5 million in funding over this time, the Foundation has facilitated 350 Greater Bank staff – almost half the workforce - to volunteer to support those charity partners.

CEO Anne Long said the public was welcome to come and view the installation from a raised platform in the park and plant a pin wheel in support of change on Friday afternoon and Saturday (July 8 and 9).

The word “change” is being spelled out to symbolise the positive change the Foundation has already enabled over the past five years.

“We are changing lives and communities for the better and hopefully we are also changing mindsets about the importance of volunteering and supporting community,” Ms Long said.

The NPC report concluded “Through its funding, it (the Foundation) has helped young people improve their well-being, improve their health, and improve the medical treatment of people. As well as that Greater Charitable Foundation has helped organisations to increase their capacity, their media profile and attract more funding from other sources.”

The Foundation is funded from the profits of the customer-owned Greater Bank. It will announce almost $1 million in further funding in mid-August.

The charities supported by Greater Charitable Foundation since inception in 2011 -

  • Australian Children’s Music Foundation - Free music education program to more than 400 children across three schools in the Taree/Manning community.
  • Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) – Pilot and expansion of the Early Intervention Readiness Program (EIRP) to help more than 330 families with a newly diagnosed child to access support to give children with autism the best possible start while creating stronger, functional families.
  • Camp Quality – Child Life Therapy program at John Hunter Children’s Hospital. All families who have a child diagnosed with cancer in the Hunter region have access to a Child Life Therapist from 2015 until 2017. The therapist distracts a child from the anxiety, pain, and trauma of a cancer treatment through structured play techniques and teaches coping strategies to children to help them manage their illness inside and outside of hospital.
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance – Funding and volunteer support for year-long mentoring programs for young people living with cerebral palsy.
  • Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets – Greater Futures Program (2014-2016) to provide early-intervention outreach and education programs for disadvantaged children, young people and their families in Maitland and the Hunter coalfields.
  • Heal for Life Foundation (HFL) – Funding for residential programs and support to help people to heal from childhood trauma and abuse. Between 2012/13 Greater Bank employees also participated in working bees at HFL properties.
  • Hunter Institute of Mental Health - Child Illness and Resilience (CHiRP) program to develop a new set of resources and interventions promoting resilience, mental health and wellbeing for children with chronic illness and their families.
  • Hunter Medical Research Institute - Currently funding a landmark Phase III international clinical trial of a new clot-busting drug therapy.
  • KidzWish Foundation – Pilot and expansion of the KidzSpeak Program to more than 780 kids in 23 child care centres and preschools in the Illawarra region. The Australian first mobile speech therapy service is designed to reach children aged five and under who may not otherwise have access to speech pathology.
  • Raise Foundation - Bump mentoring program for pregnant and parenting young women in Newcastle and Gosford.
  • ReachOut (formerly Inspire Foundation)- Pilot online WorkOut program to improve the mental health of young men aged 14 to 25.
  • Sir David Martin Foundation - Creative Arts and Vocational Education (CAVE) Program at the Triple Care Farm (TCF) residential and rehabilitation facility in the Southern Highlands for 16-24 year olds with co-occurring mental illness and drug and alcohol issues.
  • Starlight Children’s Foundation – Support three programs: In-hospital programs at John Hunter Children’s Hospital Starlight Express Room; Starlight Connection visits by Captain Starlight to hospitals in regional NSw and the Gold Coast; and the Starlight Wishgranting Program.
  • YWCA NSW –Northern Rivers Community in the Kitchen youth skills program. Between 2014 and 2016, 38 young people have gained a job or taken up further education or training as a result of the program.

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