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Generous donation helps Hunter students find inner artist

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A generous contribution to headspace Newcastle is helping local students get back to nature… and finding their inner artist.

Newcastle Permanent employees recently donated almost $13,000 to the youth mental health group.

And, that money will enable the organisation to host six Artwalks for Hunter schools.

It is estimated some 120 pupils are set to benefit from the experience, which emphasises the importance of connection and expression, particularly relating to mental health.

headspace Newcastle community development officer Byron Williams said the windfall was greatly appreciated.

“These Artwalks provide young people with the opportunity to explore the beautiful Yuelarbah Track,” he explained.

“Getting outside of the four walls of the classroom is so important and you can see the students and staff relax as soon as they start walking the track.

“They are given art supplies and encouraged by local artists to sit, think, and draw – all in their own time.

“It’s not often in their busy lives that they’re provided a chance to replace the noise of life with the sounds of running water and birds.”

Indigenous artists and experts are engaged in the project, too, so that the youngsters can learn the history of the Glenrock State Conservation Area and cultural importance of being in nature.

Newcastle Permanent employees donate about $50,000 annually, via payroll deductions and nominate charities they believe deserve support.

“We just want to thank everyone – it’s a wonderful gift to receive,” Mr Williams said.

Newcastle Permanent content marketing specialist Alexandra Richardson nominated headspace as a recipient of this donation as an act of support for a colleague.

“I wanted to honour the memory of someone who sadly took their own life,” she added.

“It was something practical we could do to hopefully make a positive difference to the lives of other young people and help headspace deliver support where it’s needed most.

“I absolutely loved the concept of combining creativity with nature as a way to help the youngsters feel grounded and connected.

“Hopefully, this program gives young people tools they can take with them throughout life to navigate challenges and manage any feelings of anxiety or uncertainty.

“The employee donation program is one of the opportunities we have at Newcastle Permanent to give back.

“Being enabled by your workplace to make a direct impact to the community and organisations you care about is incredibly rewarding.”

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