As a long term supporter of Kookaburra Kids, Big Sister Foundation funded the successful pilot program for Taking Flight, a program specially designed to meet the needs of Kookaburra Kids transitioning into tertiary study or the workforce.
In addition the expansion of the Kookaburra Kids program into the Illawarra region has been made possible by funding from Big Sister’s sustainability partner program, a three year funding program designed to underpin strategic regional growth plans. This has included setting up of a south coast presence dedicated to many local children living in families affected by mental illness.
Big Sister Foundation shares Dandelion’s vision that all babies and children have access to nursery items essential for their safety, well-being and development, whilst reducing the environmental footprint of the community. Since 2011 over 6500 families have received assistance.
Dandelion Support Network is a charity run by volunteers who accept, sort, and safety check donated nursery items, clothes, toys and linen for babies and children. These donations are given free to families in need throughout Sydney
In 2015, with Dandelion servicing over 1,000 families annually and referrals increasing, Big Sister Foundation made an initial grant to increase staff capacity. This was followed in 2016 with a three year sustainability grant incorporating financial support for additional staff, plus mentoring and governance training to assist Dandelion to further grow and improve operational effectiveness.
Helping with new mothers experiencing difficulties, the Early Years Support Service (EYSS) incorporates weekly home visits from professionally trained and supervised volunteers. Reducing isolation, improving maternal and infant well-being, and providing linkages to community groups such as playgroups these volunteers invaluable in our community
Big Sister Foundation has provided financial support and mentoring to the (EYSS) for over 10 years. Now operated by 3Bridges, our support has enabled the ongoing sustainability of this valuable volunteer home visiting service in the Sutherland Shire, and assisted the expansion of the service into the St George area in 2017.
We value our long term partnership with EYSS and share their goal of supporting and helping new mothers to thrive in our local community.
Big Sister Foundation has provided grant funding to underpin Project Youth’s INSPIRE Mentoring Program. Over 25 young women at high risk have been involved in the program and achieved substantial goals including returning to school and increasing in school attendance, completing Year 10, gaining a certificate II in Hospitality, gaining employment and engaging in fun activities they would not normally have the opportunity to try. A number of the young women continue to be supported by their mentors after the program completion. Big Sister recognises the dedication of the INSPIRE volunteers who are creating stronger and more resilient young women in our community.
Labour Y tackles youth unemployment by giving at risk young people an opportunity to get paid casual work as a means to enter into the workforce. In 2017, The Big Sister Foundation and The Ian Potter Foundation co-funded the expansion of this program to enable more young people to be supported in overcoming the barriers they face in gaining and maintaining meaningful employment.
Big Sister has recently donated funds to update the One Meal delivery van, ensuring One Meal’s weekly meal service delivered by volunteers every Sunday evening can continue at the Sutherland location.
One Meal is a not-for-profit, community organisation helping feed, clothe and support homeless and underprivileged individuals and families across Sydney.
We value this new partnership with One Meal Sutherland Shire and share their goal of helping those who are homeless in our local community.
Funding from the Big Sister Foundation has helped a group of inspirational ladies transform their creative hobby into an income generating business. In 2017 Sylvanvale started Enterprising Women, a group of creative women with intellectual disabilities who hand make soaps, succulents, oils and bird feeders. They design and make all of their products whilst managing their own social enterprise to generate income. The women have completed business coaching and sell their products at events, markets and in Sylvanvale’s other social enterprises.
In 2010, Big Sister Foundation made a donation of $1.2m to Sylvanvale to build the Milkarie Child Care Centre, a long day-care centre supporting children with a disability and their siblings together in one integrated centre. The donation provides the community with an ongoing, modern facility making life easier for parents with diverse childcare needs. Since opening, 294 children have been enrolled at Milkarie and it continues to be the only inclusive centre in the Sutherland Shire offering long Day Care for children of all abilities.
Southern Community Welfare’s (SCW) case management program has been supported by Big Sister Foundation since 2013. Co-funded with Sutherland Shire Council, the program supports a range of clients experiencing homelessness, mental health and family crisis. Recently with funding from Big Sister’s sustainability program, SCW has appointed a dedicated child and family case manager for three years.
To date the case management program has delivered over 1,000 sessions to approximately 285 clients. Outcomes include 95% of clients experiencing homelessness or family violence being re-housed into appropriate accommodation; and the introduction of Child and Family Groups as a holistic response to family. Providing both parents and children with support and psycho-education, 58 families participated in these groups over 2016.