Our Partners And together we can create a diverse and inclusive community for children and their families. With the incredible support of individuals community groups, local businesses and corporate support Firstchance is able to support families whose needs are not met by the NDIS or simply don't meet the eligibility criteria and yet have significant need. You can help us to achieve Commonwealth Bank Centenary grants This year Commonwealth Bank employees celebrated 100 years of giving. Firstchance was successful in securing $20,000 in grants received from the awesome employees at the Kotara and Newcastle University branches. The money we received went towards supporting the operating costs of our Little Ones Playgroup. Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation In 2017 we were successful in receiving a grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation valued at $39,246 to establish the Building Blocks Resource Library. The grant has enabled Firstchance to purchase therapeutic resources and equipment to loan to families. The building blocks library will provide additional support to families through the extension of learning and development opportunities. We are able to offer families the opportunity to trial and test often expensive therapeutic equipment that is essential in enhancing their child’s skill development. FunFlight This is the second year Firstchance families have had the opportunity to secure tickets to the FunFlight event at Newcastle and Warnervale Aerodrome The vision of FunFlight is “every child can fly” it is a purely volunteer-run event and was established to provide children with a disability or those touched by adversity with joy and inspiration through the exhilaration of flight. This free family event enabled 10 children supported by Firstchance to share the unique experience with their siblings and parents or carers. The feedback we received from this event was overwhelming - both parents and children enjoyed it immensely. Mazda Foundation In 2017 Firstchance received approximately $40,000 in funding to support the operational costs associated with running the SibsRule program over a 3 year period. SibsRule is a program that supports siblings aged 8-12years who have a brother or sister with a disability. The program recognises the importance of sibling relationships and the need to check in with all members of the family to maintain the resilience of the family unit as a whole. The program has been an overwhelming success in meeting the needs of the participants and attracting new families to Firstchance. Karuah Community Hub In March we were advised by The Hon Dan Tehan MP Minister for Social Services that Firstchance was successful in securing a $300,000 grant over a three year period to fund the Karuah Hub project. This project was led by the Karuah Aboriginal Community and supported by Karuah Land Council, Awabakal and Birra-Li who wanted to reinvigorate the Karuah supported playgroup previously funded by the Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care (ADHC). The Karuah Community Hub provides essential child and family services by working alongside the community. Every Monday during school terms our team runs a supported playgroup that is relevant, responsive and culturally appropriate. Our Specialist Educators work alongside families to support children to meet their developmental milestones, build capacity, establish and maintain strong relationships with families and community partners, support transitions to preschool and school, and assist to maintain engagement. Newcastle Basketball What a fantastic community organisation. Newcastle Basketball have hosted our Firstchance Flames basketball social and gross motor group twice this year on their main court and provided shirts to the kids who attended. The children who attended the program were aged 5-9 years and the group offered a taste of basketball delivered in a supported environment. The group was facilitated by a qualified basketball coach in our very own Kristy Gallacher and supported by our Occupational Therapist Kat Steele and Specialist Educator Nas O’Bray. The group is extremely popular amongst our kids and they are excited to attend future programs at the Broadmeadow Basketball Stadium venue. New Year’s Eve Lord Mayor’s Picnic – Royal Botanical Gardens Firstchance were fortunate to receive 30 tickets to attend the 2017 Lord Mayor’s New Year’s Eve Picnic held at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. The event is for children with a disability and their families. The organisation and thought that goes into planning the night so that both parents/carers and the children can have a magical time is amazing. This is the second year our families have been part of the event and the feedback this year was a 100% success rate. The families raved about how easy it was to get there (parking was provided), the entertainment and supportive volunteers and prime spot to enjoy the 9pm fireworks. Firstchance Ball 2018 In September 2017 we hosted our 2nd Annual Firstchance Fundraising Ball at Club Macquarie. Firstchance patron Natasha Beyersdorf (local journalist) was again our master of ceremony. Armed with lessons learnt from our inaugural ball in 2016, our team worked together to engage community support and donations for the event. The night was a great success, we raised over $17,000 to support local families who have a child aged 0-9 years with a disability or developmental delay. The night was sponsored by many generous donors including but not limited to: Dynamic Business Technology Broadmeadow Magic Football Club CINCH Financial Services Turtle Beach Resort on the Gold Coast The Happy Wombat Tile's Apple Truck Cider Village Roadshow Tracey Keller The event hosted 165 guests and we were entertained by Chance 2 Dance, a local dance group giving children with a disability or developmental delay the opportunity to join a dance group and perform. The support we received from the community and staff was overwhelming. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who was a part of making this event the success it was. We look forward to doing it all again in September 2019.