This year our biggest appeal is to raised funds for our Little Ones Playgroup.

The program costs $60,000 pa to run and operates entirely on donations and sponsorship. The program provides direct supports to 20 children aged 0-4 years with a disability and their family each term.

Little Ones playgroup now operates across two locations in Hamilton and Raymond Terrace and provides families with a soft entry to the disability sector at a time when they are often overwhelmed, having recently found out that their baby has a disability. This can present as a point in time where hope has been taken away and the focus of the family can be that of grief and loss.

Thoughts of “what could have been” and the dreams they had for their child all of a sudden seem unachievable. This can be incredibly isolating, and it is at this time, the Little Ones early intervention group is paramount in giving back hope to local families. We are the first step in meeting with the families to establish functional goals that will have a significant impact in changing the trajectory for their child.

Firstchance is a small charity making a big difference in the lives of over 350 children with a disability and their families annually in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens regions. There is no doubt that early intervention followed by school-age support works and has a major impact in enabling children to maximise their full potential. The demand for our Early Childhood Intervention continues to grow and it is only with community support that we will be able to meet the increasing demand.