Telethon broke their own record last weekend, at the Telethon fundraising expo, raising over $38 million to support children who have life threatening illnesses and their families. Carers WA held a family friendly stall at the expo on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October, complete with a “silly selfie” family Polaroid photo activity. Young Carers WA have been Telethon beneficiaries each year for over 5 years and Telethon’s donations have funded annual camps for young carers aged 8 to 17. At the North Star camp in New Norcia, held in April 2018, the young carer attendees and the Young Carer Officer participated in a beneficiary video thanking Telethon for their support.
At the Telethon expo, Carers WA staff, including CEO Paul Coates, talked to many families who are caring for a child with a disability or illness. Families were introduced to the free services that Carers WA offers, which include social support, wellbeing activities, counselling, advice and referral and many more. Carers WA staff dressed up and encouraged families to do the same and take a “silly selfie” Polaroid picture as a free memento of the day.
Young Carers WA provides free events, camps, information, school support through the CLOUD Schools Engagement Program and more, for young carers aged 8 to 25. Young Carers WA events and camps give young carers an opportunity to have respite from the pressures of caring for a sibling, parent or extended family member. The camps and events also focus on fun, friendship, adventure and learning new emotional and practical skills. The amount of young carers referred to Carers WA increases each year and the funding from Telethon, as well as the Disability Services Commission (of the Department of Communities) allows Young Carers WA to work towards meeting the extra demand for these services.
See photos from the North Star, New Norcia camp, held in April 2018 and funded by Telethon, here.
The money raised by the Telethon weekend and the generous donations of Western Australians helps to provide treatment, equipment, resources and other services for children who have life threatening illnesses. Telethon fundraisers began in 1968 and by 2017, they had raised $268 million, so a goal was set to reach the $300 million mark in 2018. Last weekend’s fundraiser raised $38, 000, 554, taking the Telethon total to over $306 million.
The Telethon Beneficiary video, which gave some Telethon beneficiaries the opportunity to thank Telethon publicly, was premiered during the fundraiser weekend. Young Carers WA were on of these beneficiaries and will receive a copy of the video, which will be showcased on the Carers WA You Tube channel and their other social media outlets.