Villa Maria Catholic Homes’ (VMCH) major fundraising appeal for the year has raised $135,000 to buy new toys, digital resources and equipment for a service that supports young children with additional needs.
About 150 children, who use VMCH’s Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) in Kew, will soon get some fabulous new resources, thanks to the generosity of the supporters of the Teach & Tumble fundraising appeal.
One of those children is Joshua. He is a gorgeous three-year-old who loves the music and play therapy sessions at ECIS and receives support from one of its speech pathologists.
Joshua needed multiple surgeries and specialist therapy after he was born without functioning thumbs and a hole in his heart. That is where ECIS has played a vital role.
“I cannot stress how finding the Early Childhood Intervention Service in Kew has changed our lives. It was a lifesaver for us. Joshie has come on so much with the regular therapy and time spent playing during the parent support group,” his mum, Catherine, said.
Josh was the face of Teach and Tumble and his mum, Catherine, gave it a voice when she shared her family’s story to promote the campaign.
“ECIS is a wonderful centre and the staff do a wonderful job, but they’re really working with some dated equipment, so that money is going to make such a difference, not just to Joshie, but other kids and their families too. I can’t wait to see what they are able to buy,” she said.
People who attended VMCH’s annual Art After Dark fundraiser, in June, supported Teach & Tumble to the tune of more than $50,000. They bought artwork, items from the silent auction and made generous donations.
Supporters of VMCH have also donated generously to the cause after reading about the campaign in Seasons magazine and in the local media. VMCH also received support from trusts.
Specialist Education and Evolving Disability Services General Manager, David Williamson, said the support would make a huge difference for many young children.
“Specialised equipment and resources are vital in current therapeutic practices. They can make a huge difference to young ones with disabilities and additional needs and really enhance their development and wellbeing,” he said.
“Birth to eight is such a critical period of learning and communication, and we want to ensure we give them every opportunity to thrive.”
Special thanks goes to our partners and sponsors for supporting the Art After Dark fundraising gala: Lexus of Blackburn, Acsess Health and Cura Pharmacy. Other generous support came from those who donated art items for the silent auction and wine for the yet again popular wine-wall.