Volunteers Newsletter - January 2009 - The Spastic Centre


Volunteers Newsletter - January 2009 - The Spastic Centre



A Helping Hand

Summer 2009

NSW Volunteer of the Year Award

International Volunteer Day

Five minutes with KPMG

ING mentoring program

Diary Dates 2009



As I reflect on all the volunteering events and activities

throughout 2008, I am reminded of what an incredible

volunteer force we are fortunate to have.

Last year, over 1,700 individuals volunteered more than 33,000

hours to The Spastic Centre. In financial terms, this equates to

over $1 million. A remarkable contribution which has allowed

us to provide services and opportunities to our clients that

otherwise would have been difficult or impossible to supply.

We are always delighted to expand our volunteer force and

welcome new people to our cause. Please do not hesitate to

contact our volunteer department if you have any ideas around

potential projects or prospective volunteers!

Thank you again for ‘lending a helping hand’ over the last


We look forward to an exciting and positive 2009!

Rob White



What a way to celebrate the end of 2008 and International

Volunteer Day! Over 120 volunteers joined us at the Dendy

Opera Quays as we took the opportunity to say thank you to

our fabulous supporters!

Before volunteers were treated to choc tops, popcorn and the

screening of the much anticipated movie “Australia”, several

individuals & corporate partners were recognised for their

outstanding service & contribution.

Recipients of awards included Dean Calabrese, Nicole

Chidgey, Madeline Cousley, Bronwen Doran, Sally Garman,

Noela Hawkins, Johanna Henwood, Francis Kennedy, Vardit

Lahav, Don McLarty, Cheryl Morgan, Ellen Muller and Emily


A number of corporate supporters were also awarded on the

evening. They included American Express, Charlestown Square,

Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank, Disney International, Eli Lilly,

Ernst & Young, GE, GPT, ING, KPMG, Lend Lease, Macquarie

Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Westfield and Westpac.

While we realise that our volunteers selflessly donate their time

to The Spastic Centre and do not expect such awards, we do

want to recognise your amazing efforts!

We have several exciting initiatives planned for this year. We

will fill you in as the year progresses, but in particular keep an

eye on our website in March!

We hope that you have all enjoyed the holiday season and are

feeling refreshed and reenergised – ready for another great

year in 2009.

Warmest regards

Amanda, Angela, Carole and Jackie

This year’s Reward and Recognition evening was held at the Dendy Cinema, Circular Quay

where volunteers were treated to a screening of the movie ‘Australia’.

Front Cover: Volunteers Don McLarty and Emily Sheppard





2008 NSW Volunteer

of the Year Award

2008 NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award

nominee Annie Rahe from ING accepts her nomination

certificate from NSW Minister for Volunteering, the

Honourable Graham West

Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Olgiati of The Centre for Volunteering

Spastic Centre volunteer Annie Rahe from ING was recently selected as a finalist

in the annual Corporate Volunteer of the Year award.

Winners of the 2008 NSW Volunteer

of the Year Award were announced at a

gala ceremony on Friday 5 December at

Sydney’s Parliament House. ABC Radio host

Adam Spencer was Master of Ceremonies,

and NSW Minister for Volunteering, the

Honourable Graham West presented the


This year, almost 450 outstanding nominations

were received. A much larger number than

anticipated. Volunteers’ Manager Jackie

Curnow helped judge the individual volunteer

awards, selecting the winners for both the

Central West and Northern Rivers region.

All judges found their role fascinating and

enjoyable but difficult none-the-less! If only

it was possible to give an award to every


We are very proud to announce that Annie

Rahe from ING, nominated by The Spastic

Centre for the 2008 NSW Corporate

Volunteer of the Year award, was selected as

one of the nine finalists. Annie has worked

very closely with Peter Horsley, Project Coordinator

Community Links, volunteering for

the ING Ignition Mentoring Program (see

page 6).

Peter tells us ‘Annie approaches her work

as a volunteer with amazing passion,

enthusiasm and skill. She is constantly

looking for opportunities to give for the

betterment of others. Each time she commits,

she commits wholeheartedly. She has an

infectious enthusiasm that pulls others into her

charitable vortex with that same enthusiasm

and drive. She leads programs when she

has the opportunity, and she’s also a great

team player. It is not just an extra curricular

activity for Annie - it exudes from her being.

She lives for others. All of this while she holds

down a very senior position with ING.’

Congratulations Annie!

Nominations for the 2009 Volunteer of

the Year award open during National

Volunteer week (11-17 May) and close

30 September.

Please let the volunteer team know if

you would like to nominate either an

individual or corporate volunteer for this

very special award.


Festive Season At The Spastic Centre

Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful corporate supporters and volunteers,

The Spastic Centre’s clients and families were treated to a magical time over this

festive season.

Performers and clients at the KPMG Family Picnic Day, Prairiewood

Meret meets Santa’s ‘helper’ Millie at the North & East

Children’s Services ‘Christmas for the Kids!’

Macquarie Group Foundation volunteers cooking up a storm

Daniel pretends to test drive Santa’s racing car!

Families, children and siblings had the

opportunity to connect with each other

and enjoy fabulous food, entertainment

and gifts at a number of Christmas parties

held at Orange, Terrey Hills, Prairiewood

and Muswellbrook.

My Time Christmas party - Megan Finkle (mum), Anna and Claire from Musswellbrook

5Minutes with



Line of Business group (TLTS) within the Audit Division began

the relationship over a year ago and in particular with the

Prairiewood site. I have continued to volunteer both from a

corporate perspective but also on an individual basis.


What do you enjoy most about your role with

The Spastic Centre

Well, I have to say that I have met a great bunch of wonderful

people at The Spastic Centre and enjoy working with them to

“get the job done”. My role means a great deal to me in that I (my

team) can make a difference to the children and their families.

What is your connection with The Spastic


I have been an employee with KPMG for the past five years.

KPMG are not only the Auditors at The Spastic Centre but are

also a State Community Partner with the organisation. Our

Favourite volunteering story/moment

I can’t go past the day KPMG (TLTS Division) completed the

Prairiewood Garden project which was six months in the making.

All the planning, organising and praying for good weather paid

off. To see the completed garden at the end of the day was the

highlight of my year. Everyone in the team had a fantastic day

digging holes, planting and painting. We achieved our goal to

make a difference.

Favourite saying:

No worries leave it to me.


What do you most enjoy about your role at

The Spastic Centre

When I finish my work I get a real sense of achievement and

personal pride. I feel that in some small way I am helping out

and doing something of value.

Favourite volunteering story/moment.

I do not normally have much contact with the clients of The Spastic

Centre, but recently I was very moved by a young 12 year old

boy trying out a new motorised chair. The look of enjoyment

and fun he was having, regardless of his problems, was very


Favourite saying.

Our life is like a concert except there is no rehearsal; it’s right on

with the show.

What is your connection with The Spastic


My job is to do my best to keep the lawns and gardens at the

Nowra cottage tidy and presentable for visitors and clients.


Many Lending Hands

For the past three years The Spastic Centre has partnered with ING to run

a volunteer mentoring program for teenagers with cerebral palsy

It all starts with good intentions…and no, this story doesn’t have

a bad ending. The most common response volunteers give

when we ask them why they want to volunteer for the Ignition

Mentoring program is, ‘I want to give something back’. Little do

they realise what they also receive in return.

For the past three years the ING volunteer mentoring program for

teenagers has achieved overwhelmingly positive results. Each

year, volunteer staff from ING meet once a fortnight with a small

group of teenagers to talk about things that matter to them. They

are also involved in some very exciting group outings, including

a twilight visit to the zoo and a trip to the snow.

One of the volunteer mentors recently commented, ‘I was so

scared when I put my name down for this program. Scared of

what, I really didn’t know, although my exposure to people with

special needs was limited. I was inches away from not coming

the first night. Conjuring excuses in my mind as to why I couldn’t

attend, though I am so glad that I did.

Not only was I given a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the

most intelligent, funny and articulate people I know, I also had

the opportunity to grow within myself. I realised that I got more

out of my time with these kids than I have out of most of my adult


In 2009, The Spastic Centre will be hosting three mentoring

programs in Sydney Metro, Sydney West and Newcastle. If you

would like to know more about being involved with this fabulous

program, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the members of

the volunteer team.

Hunter Ignition Mentoring

All smiles for the mentors and mentees at the Belmont

16 Footers Club on Lake Macquarie

After two successful years in North &

East, the Ignition Mentoring program

was launched for the first time in the

Hunter Region this year. The launch of

the program was aided by the Greater

Building Society. The partnership they

formed with The Stuart Centre provides

volunteer staff mentors, funding, and a

venue for the group to meet.

The group had its first session in May

with 10 teenagers being matched with

10 volunteer mentors from the Greater.

The group meets fortnightly for a total of

15 sessions across the year with the goal

of fostering a strong, positive mentoring

relationship and having a positive influence

on the self-esteem, confidence and life

experience of the teenage participants.

The program involves a combination of

discussion topics relevant to teenagers

with a disability, and a range of group

activities providing opportunities and

experiences they may not usually have.

Overall, the outcomes of the program have

exceeded all expectations. Additionally,

there have been some incidental benefits,

including the establishment of some

important and meaningful community

partnerships. These partnerships have in

turn contributed to the ongoing provision

of quality services and support in the


Corporate Capers


Corporate supporters continued to donate their time, services and expertise

right through to the end of 2008.


Throughout 2008, our team of corporate supporters assisted The Spastic Centre on a huge range of projects. These included

mentoring programs for teenagers with CP, ‘backyard blitzes’ of therapy rooms and group homes, hosting fundraising and social

events, sponsoring programs and selling promotional material.

Commonwealth Bank at Hydro pool

Allambie Heights

GE at St. Ives Respite House

In just a few hours, these wonderful volunteers from

Commonwealth Bank spruced up the gardens surrounding

our Hydro Pool and gave the rails and post a fresh coat of

paint. Thank you for all your support.

It took two large groups from GE Real Estate, lending many

helping hands, to tidy up the front yards at St. Ives Respite house.

The volunteers worked through rain and shine to get the job

done. Everyone worked so hard with great results. Thank you all

for giving us such a lovely yard.


Westpac at Belrose House

Gardening at Belrose House was the project chosen by this

volunteer team from Westpac and what a difference they all

made. The residents can now look forward to spending summer

in their smart new garden and enjoying the plants kindly donated

by this energetic team.

We would also like to thank the following companies who

have given their support to The Spastic Centre:

Volunteers from Ernst and Young, KPMG and the local

Anglican Church helped raise funds by wrapping gifts at

the Supa Centa Moore Park on the run up to Christmas.

• KPMG made some generous donations to Boccia NSW

as a thank you for presenting Boccia demonstrations at

their teambuilding events.

• Individual volunteers from ING helped us out with the

Fundraising Christmas Appeal at Head Office.

• Commonwealth Bank kindly sourced and donated

several tickets for our clients and carers to attend the

Sydney FC vs Central Coast Mariners game at Sydney

Football Stadium.

• Thanks to the generosity of Sydney Opera House, some

of our clients and carers enjoyed a wonderful night out

at the Rolf Harris show.

• Clayton Utz, GE, KPMG and Macquarie Group volunteers

who all worked so hard to ensure the Children’s Christmas

parties were a huge success (See photos page 4)

ING at Lifestyles

The volunteer team from Business Analysis at ING arrived at

Lifestyle Options ready to do battle with weeds and garden

debris. However, no stone was left unturned as they stayed on

to help improve the look of surrounding pathways and give the

entrance hall a fresh coat of paint. Even the outdoor storage

container received attention. Lattice was erected and colourful

creepers planted. Thank you for all your hard work.

ING Australia

In 35 °C heat, 10 enthusiastic volunteers from ING Australia

laid new turf, and prettied up the garden at Merrylands House.

The residents are now very proud of their smart new front yard.

Great job everyone!

Diary Dates 2009

Wednesday 11


Volunteer Information

Session (Hunter)

Sunday 22 February

20/twenty Challenge

Saturday 7 March

Nokia City Chase

Wednesday 18


Volunteer Information

Session (Allambie)

Saturday 21, 28

March and 4 April

Golden Slipper Festival at


11-17 May

National Volunteer Week

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