IOE’s Family Support program received a boost recently when Allan Tierney and Brian Mandergeddes from Fern Tree Gully Rotary presented IOE with a cheque for $2000. The donation is a welcome support and will be put directly into providing opportunities for families on our family camps.
Family camps have always been an integral part of IOE’s Family Support Program and the demand for the ‘family camp experience’ has increased greatly since the introduction of NDIS and the subsequent influx of new families. With no secure or ongoing funding for our family support programs, IOE relies on donations such as this to maintain the programs.
IOE is now running four family camps a year to meet this increasing demand. The first for 2020, our annual stay at Coonawarra Resort, will be over the March long weekend. Phillip Island is again the venue for our April camp. We will be taking expressions of interest for these camps early in 2020 .
June, who attended her first family camp with her son Samar in March 2019 at Coonawarra, says this about her experience.
‘Our first IOE experience was Family Camp at Coonawarra and I am so glad we came as it changed everything for Samar and myself. I am a very outdoorsy person so I thought it would be perfect for us; and I was right! I kept asking myself how all the people I was meeting could be so nice and so patient. They answered all my questions and always had time to spend with us. Family Camp was the first time since Samar was born that I have been able to take time for myself. I went on a bush walk and sat under the beautiful blue sky and thought about how lucky I was to be there. It was such a good chance to get to know myself again and meet other people who go through the same challenges that Samar and I go through. After we got back from a night walk with Fred, the CEO at Interchange Outer East, Ashleigh held Samar and walked up and down the hallway with him for half an hour until he was asleep. I haven’t had support like this anywhere else on earth!’
Thank you Fern Tree Gully Rotary. You will be helping more families like June’s to experience the support and friendship that are such a part of this valued program.