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Greater Charitable Foundation funding commitment tops $10 million

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Greater Charitable Foundation has committed more than $700,000 in funding to two charity partnerships, which pushes its total contribution to community groups past $10 million since its establishment in 2011.

Affiliations with Youth Off The Streets and Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) will support initiatives to be rolled out in the Hunter region that not only meet the foundation’s overall mission of improving life outcomes but also focus on positively enhancing the financial wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

Youth off the Street’s Hunter Suspension Program will help address the high rate of school suspensions and expulsions in the region.

And, in doing so, will have a direct impact on the barriers to positive future financial and life outcomes.

Conducted from the Youth off the Streets base in Weston, the program will assist up to 120 students over the next three years in the areas of living skills and building financial capability.

Specifically, it aims to ensure youngsters are maintaining a focus on school curriculum, equips pupils with financial acumen, teaches vital skills to transition to adulthood and engages with local business and employers to assist participants to consider career options.

The program is set to get underway in October and will operate five days per week during school terms.

Tutoring and capacity building will be delivered during school hours, while casework support will be provided both during and after school hours as required by the participants.

Aspect Hunter School’s Work Education and Employment Skills Program will provide specialised autism-specific support for its high school students to assist in the transition from school to employment.

Conducted at Aspect Hunter School’s main campus at Thornton, as well as various satellite sites in the Hunter, the initiative provides pre-employment assessment and employability skills development training, as well as other critical skills, that will prepare pupils for life beyond their schooling years.

This includes social interaction and communication, teamwork, searching for jobs and roles, preparing a strong resumé and job application, budgeting, presentation skills, interview preparation, as well as traveling to an interview and coping with unfamiliar environments or unpredictable situations.

The program also aims to advise students on the different roles and job opportunities that are available by assisting them in exploring career pathways, managing expectations and identifying alternatives paths if a desired career pathway doesn’t seem to be feasible or realistic.

Youth Off The Streets Hunter Valley engagement and support program manager Kim Lenard works with program participants.

Greater Charitable Foundation CEO Anne Long said she was delighted to be partnering with two dedicated organisations who were rolling out programs in the Hunter, which would make a long-term impact on the lives of those people they support.

“Aspect and Youth Off The Streets are organisations we have supported in the past,” she explained.

“We’ve long been impressed with the work they undertake to support young and often vulnerable members of our community.

“Both new programs also support our new funding strategy of improving the skills and knowledge in order to strengthen the overall financial wellbeing of participants.

“Aspect is doing this through their transition program that will provide students living with autism the best possible opportunity to gain meaningful employment beyond their schooling years, while Youth Off The Streets is providing their program participants with the fundamental financial literacy and skills that they can carry with them throughout life.

“We are excited by the prospects both programs offer and very much look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

Ms Long has headed up the foundation since its establishment in 2011.

“I’m exceptionally satisfied of the role we’ve played over 10 years in improving the lives of people across the Hunter and beyond,” she said.

“Reaching the $10 million milestone is something we are exceptional proud of.

“But, it’s not just about the money given away but the impact that has provided and the social value we have contributed to our communities.

“Over the past 10 years we have supported 31 different charity partners whose programs have positively impacted the lives of more than 32,000 beneficiaries.”

For more information on the new partnerships, visit www.greater.com.au/yots and www.greater.com.au/aspect

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