Charities combine to donate $8,000 worth of school supplies to West Tamar schools.

St Vincent de Paul Society volunteer and project coordinator Eric Welsh and Exeter High School principal Benjamin Frerk, with other charity representatives.

The St Vincent de Paul Society – via a grant from, Presbyterian Care – West Tamar Lions, and West Tamar Rotary Club have combined forces to make a real difference to children in need along the West Tamar.

By combining three small donations into one sizeable offering of close to $8,000 the three charities were able to purchase a number of items for students at Exeter High School, Exeter Primary School, and Beaconsfield Primary School.

The donations covered the costs of sun hats so students could socialise and have fun with their friends outside. Sunhats are important to protect students from the sun on a hot day. Many schools do not allow children to play outside without a sunhat, which can affect a child’s social development and sense of belonging.

The donation also covered the purchase of mouth-guards so children from families that could not afford mouth-guards could participate in healthy sporting activities – often representing their schools – which build confidence, self-esteem, friendships, and cooperative skills; while breaking down social barriers.

Finally, the donation helped pay for school clothing that is donated to disadvantaged families on a needs basis.

All media outlets and journalists are invited to attend the event on Wednesday to recognise the cooperation between the charity groups and to draw attention to the plight of children in need across Tasmania.

Poverty in childhood is damaging to children, to their life chances, and to communities.

All areas of a child’s life are adversely affected by poverty: home, school, friendships and more. The most visible aspect is that they do not have what their friends have. Child poverty impacts on children’s ability to enjoy their childhoods and achieve their aspirations.

Research has shown that family income impacts on children’s lives and development in a variety of ways. Living on a low-income increases parents’ stress levels, in turn affecting relationships and family dynamics. Increases in family income can boost children’s educational achievements, and emotional and physical wellbeing.

Parents worry about the impact poverty has on their children, particularly that they may be bullied. Children living in poverty frequently report feeling excluded and embarrassed, citing it as a key source of unhappiness, and worry about their parents in turn.

By making this $8,000 donation of clothing, sun hats, and mouth-guards – as well as demonstrating that the community does care about children – the charities hope to improve the lives of those they seek to help and to level the academic, social, and sporting playing fields for students in Exeter and Beaconsfield.

MEDIA NOTES: The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Paris, France in 1833 by a 20-year old Italian student, Frederic Ozanam. Today, the Society operates in 153 countries and has over 800,000 members. Australia has over 60,000 members, dedicated to assisting people in need and combating social injustice. The Society started in Tasmania in 1899 when founders established a Conference in Launceston. From humble beginnings, the Society has grown to 25 Conferences within three Regional Councils across Tasmania. Each Conference undertake a variety of good works, the most recognised being the traditional Vincentian home visits and the annual CEO Sleep-out to draw attention to homelessness.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

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