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To support a grassroots community group that coordinates a therapy program for disabled children; a support group for their parents; a special-needs resource library for families and schools & that trains new volunteers to help with it all!
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About You

The group was formed in 2012 by two local mothers of children with special needs. They had begun to experience what life is like for rural families who have difficulty accessing the basic supports & services required for their children to thrive. They decided that they could make a real difference to other families in similar situations and decided to put their collective energies, skills, knowledge & determination together to create a group that would be able to provide support for other Wheatbelt families. The group now has an active base of many local volunteers and a Project Coordinator, and together they:
1. Provide therapy programs open to all disadvantaged, at-risk & special needs children in the region, free of charge
2. Train local community members in the skills & knowledge required to work more effectively with these children.
3. Run a support group for parents in order to establish a safe space where they can share their challenges, hopes & ideas with others who really understand
4. Maintain a special needs resource library that loans resources, games, therapy equipment, toys & books to families, community groups & schools
5. Collaborate with other organisations and professionals to further support the above objectives

Impact of the grant

Services & support for rural families with children with disabilities are irregular or lacking altogether in some cases. Our group is the only not-for-profit, volunteer-led disability support group for families & children in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. We provide all of our programs free of charge and utilise grant funding to enable us to fill the gaps in service delivery & to address areas of need within the community (e.g. parent support group; sensory playground; locally-available training).

The grant will be used to provide partial remuneration towards our Project Coordinator who runs all of our programs and volunteers hundreds of hours of her own time towards supporting the group and the families who benefit from our programs. With no sustained local, state or federal funding to support us, we rely on the support of local community groups and grants to continue to provide our essential services and programs to Wheatbelt from year to year.

The entire Wheatbelt region will benefit from this grant because it supports a grassroots community service that responds directly to local needs. All those who access our services and programs will benefit from this grant, including children, families, local schools, public & private therapists, playgroups and childcare centres.

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