Community organisations continue to benefit from the ClubGRANTS program

Sharks at Kareela have continued their support of the community through ClubGRANTS, with five extremely worthy organisations benefiting from the donations made possible through the program.

The Shephard Centre For Deaf Children, Gymea Community Aid and Information Centre, Autism Spectrum Australia, Community Defib Project and Spinal Cords Injuries Australia, were all successful in their applications for ClubGRANTS assistance, with Sharks at Kareela contributing more than $23,000 across the five identified in collaboration with Sharks Have Heart.

Sharks at Kareela General Manager Justin Coulton was proud of the support they were able to provide what is a diverse range of organisations, all of whom are all making a significant contribution in the community.

“It was very important to us that we are socially responsible and continue our commitment to the ClubGRANTS program and and to those in need of assistance,” Coulton said. “In deciding who to support, with the help of Sharks Have Heart we have managed to spread our grants amongst a diverse range of organisations, all who do wonderful work in their respective fields.

“We hope the financial contribution we are able to make to each allows them to continue to assist those in need, or to expand and improve on their existing programs,” he added.

Of the five, Gymea Community Aid and Information Centre has previously received support from Sharks Have Heart, with the remainder first time recipients of Sharks or Sharks at Kareela ClubGRANTS assistance.

In relation to the Shephard Centre For Deaf Children, their grant will support the Talk Together Program, for Gymea Community Aid and Information Centre it will enable them to continue their Learner Driver Mentor program, with Autism Spectrum Australia using the funding to enhance technology at the Aspect South East Sydney School Classroom in Caringbah.

The Community Defib Project implements a five-step process to engage support and awareness of the work they do, while Spinal Cords Injuries Australia administers a Community Fitness Project to improve the health and wellbeing for people living with neurological disabilities in the Sutherland Shire.

All different in who and what they offer to the community in assistance but all carrying out great work in their specific areas.

For more on the five recipients of the 2023 Sharks Club Grants, see below.

About The Shephard Centre For Deaf Children

The Talk Together Program is a life-changing program of support for parents of children with hearing loss in the Sutherland Shire.

Hearing loss is the most common disability diagnosed at birth and 1 in 300 children have hearing loss by 5 years old, with 50% of these children receiving no specialised support and in danger of being left behind. Without early intervention, these challenges can be lifelong and result in a lack of meaningful connection to the community.

With over 90% of deaf children born to parents with no history of hearing loss, most families lack the knowledge or skills to manage the condition without specialist support.

Talk Together directly addresses these issues, offering supportive group sessions for parents led by specialist Child and Family Counsellors and a concurrent children’s group is overseen by our clinical team and supported by volunteers. This playgroup enables children to socialise, interact with each other and develop communication skills.

Talk Together has a proven track record of life-changing outcomes for children with hearing loss, with their parents reporting dramatically improved wellbeing, and improved knowledge and confidence in their child’s development.

About Gymea Community Aid and Information Centre

The Learner Driver Mentor Program (LDMP) delivers a safe driving program which has a culturally secure design and delivery.

With consideration to cultural and gender issues encompassing an eight-week Foundation Skills for Learner Drivers TAFE course, with provision of materials in languages other than English & cultural knowledge incorporated.

Road Safe Workshops, My First Car Workshop, Support learners to pass Driver Knowledge Test, mentoring on a driving simulator & online test practice is included, with Learners graduating to subsidised professional lessons and volunteer mentor supervised sessions.

Volunteer mentors are recruited, trained and appropriately matched, while up to 50 participants will be accessed through the Kirinari Aboriginal Youth Hostel, Endeavour High School and Adult Migrant English Program.

The LDMP overcomes barriers such as lack of licensed supervising drivers to provide the 120 hours on-road experience, limited access to roadworthy cars for supervised driving and limited financial capacity to access road safety.

About Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is the largest provider of autism specific services in Australia.

Founded in 1966, the Aspect South East Sydney School caters for over 170 students aged 4-17 years old on the autism spectrum and with high support needs, and has satellite classrooms located in Caringbah.

Alongside autism-specific education, Aspect offers a large range of other services such as diagnostic assessments, early childhood support, therapy, employment services, autism awareness community workshops, adult services, and autism friendly projects across Australian communities.

To support the students in the best possible way, Aspect schools require special equipment to meet the complex needs of children on the autism spectrum, including communication aids, sensory supports, playgrounds with autism-specific equipment, motor skill equipment, and tools for interactive classroom learning.

Aspect schools have been using technological resources, such as iPads, in Aspect classrooms which has led to increased student participation in classroom activities, increased student communication, increased social skills, improved student confidence, and increased academic outcomes as students are able to engage more with lesson content.

About Community Defib Project

The Community Defib Project implements a 5-Step process.

One, to engage local community support through an introductory workshop. Two, to set up a local committee with CDP to provide community liaison. Three, Community Liaison to guide the local community committee through the planning stages to identify, the catchment area, number of community defibs required, and vulnerable parts of the community.

Step four, the implementation and installation of the community defibs. And five, community resource planning and production-available to every member of the community.

About Spinal Cords Injuries Australia (SCIA)

Spinal Cords Injuries Australia (SCIA) NeuroMoves is a community-based exercise and therapy service for people living with neurological disabilities like paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain injury, multiple sclerosis and stroke. It is a community fitness project aimed at improving the health and wellbeing for people living with neurological disabilities in Sutherland Shire

SCIA is located at the Menai Indoor Sports Centre and offers a safe, accessible, and inclusive gym environment with modified exercise equipment and highly trained exercise therapists. They have been supporting people with disability in Sutherland Shire since 2015 and currently have 75 active members, employing four exercise therapists locally, while also training 30 university students each year.

The fitness programs promote healthy lifestyles and community connections for people with disability, and include an open gym program, one-on-one exercise therapy and small group training tailored to achieve specific goals like strength, balance or flexibility while encouraging social connections.

NeuroMoves can only provide its services with the support of external funding like ClubGrants, with client fees not covering the costs of new equipment or exercise programs.

Sharks Have Heart have connected with SCIA and will work toward linking them with NRL wheelchair, while inviting them to the October Wheelchair clinic hosted in partnership with NRL Wheelchair.