Wednesday, 20 October 2010 13:39
Golfers will tell you that a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at work. Well for Bowden, being the beneficiary of the 2010 UC Invest Golf Day resulted in a good day on the golf course and a good day at work. UC Invest generously nominated Bowden as this year’s charity and Bowden staff participated with a team of males (Bowden Bashers) and a team of ladies (Bowden Belles) plus four staff to work with UC Invest staff to make sure the day went smoothly. Bowden Chief Executive (Julian Sawicki) was very pleased to receive a cheque for $13,000 from the Manager of UC Invest (Paul Barnett) during the lunch. The proceeds of the day will go towards two new program initiatives established by Bowden this year.
Footprints: This program is to assist children with social and physical coordination issues to participate in a supervised yet fun filled sports skills activity. Commenced in April 2010 – the first program centred on Aussie Rules, and Bowden was very grateful to have a couple of Crows and Carlton AFL players to work with the children. This pilot program was a great success and many of the children and their parents requested that the program be continued during future school holiday breaks and that it becomes a regular feature of Bowden’s services. Thanks to UC Invest and golfers on the day; Bowden has been able to continue this program for the time being. In the September school holidays a further Footprints program was held, this time involving the soccer community and Bowden was this time grateful to the Adelaide United Soccer Club for the participation of almost the entire team, including Eugene Galekovic, one of the Socceroo Goal Keepers – you cannot get much better than that! Bowden staff were also pleased, to be working with elite and world class athletes who gave their time, their compassion, their skill and their sense of humour to a group of young people who would not ever have had such an opportunity before. In December/January coming, Bowden will again run a program but this time with the Net Ball community and will also provide a range of other physical activities for participating children. Happily, this program will be conducted with the support and participation of the Adelaide Thunderbirds Netball Club – Again; at the elite sports level – you cannot get better than that! Think about the positive role models that come from the involvement of people at the top of their sport, in programs and activities such as the Footprints program.
Independent Living Skills: This is a pilot program for a group of young people, most of us never think about – Young Carers. Young Carers are a unique yet hidden group of special young people. They are young children and early teens who care for a parent or older sibling with significant health issues. These young carers care for parents with serious illness, mental issues, or substance dependence. Or, they might help their parent(s) care for a sibling with a major health problem. They are the forgotten carers with major responsibilities far too early in their lives that detrimentally impact on their ability to be children, grow up as a child, or worse – impact upon their schooling. They have responsibilities that many children can not imagine. These children run a very real risk of mental illness themselves, as well as the risk of dropping out of school much too early – limiting their personal and social development options, limiting their work or career opportunities and therefore running the risk of perpetuating low income, low skilled employment, unemployment or broken work patterns and opening them up to personal and family dysfunction in their own adult lives. This program is planned to be a 10 week program, after school hours with the following key aims: 1) Social awareness skills 2) Improved social interaction 3) Confidence building 4) Establishment of peer support 5) To provide respite from their normal daily responsibilities. 6) Basic home and personal care skills The broader Young Carer Support program conducted by Bowden also has a prime focus to ensure that these young carers remain in the education system as long as possible to ensure they complete their secondary education. Access to education is one of the main factors in assisting people to become members of society in a productive manner and thus help in not perpetuating the cycle of disadvantage, unemployment, family breakdown, homelessness and/or mental illness. Bowden is very grateful to UC Invest and the golfers for their support.