Newcastle Permanent employees have donated almost $13,000 to headspace Newcastle, which will help the youth mental health organisation to host six Artwalks for Hunter schools.
It is estimated that approximately 120 students will benefit from the Artwalks, which emphasise the importance of connection and expression, particularly relating to mental health.
Participants are given their own set of art supplies and, under the instruction of local artists, enjoy a bush walk through Glenrock to help inspire them to create their own art.
Local Indigenous artists and experts are engaged in the project so that the young people can learn the history of the area and the cultural importance of being in nature.
headspace Newcastle Community Development Officer, Byron Williams said the donation was greatly appreciated and hoped the Artwalks would prove invaluable to the participating students.
“These Artwalks provide young people with the opportunity to explore the beautiful Yuelarbah Track,” Byron said.
“Getting outside of the four walls of the classroom is so important and you can see the students and staff relax as soon as they start walking the track!
“The young people are given art supplies and encouraged by local artists to sit, think, and draw – all in their own time.
“It’s not often in their busy lives that they are provided an opportunity to replace the noise of life with the sounds of running water and birds.”
Each year, Newcastle Permanent employees donate around $50,000 via payroll deductions and nominate charities they believe deserve support. Employees then vote to select four charities each year to receive funding.
Newcastle Permanent Content Marketing Specialist, Alexandra Richardson nominated headspace as a recipient of this donation as an act of support for a colleague.
“I made the headspace nomination, on behalf of a colleague, to honour the memory of someone who sadly took their own life,” Alexandra said.
“It was something practical we could do to hopefully make a positive difference to the lives of other young people and help headspace deliver support where it’s needed most.
“I absolutely loved the concept of combining creativity with nature as a way to help young people feel grounded and connected. Hopefully, this program gives young people tools they can take with them throughout life to navigate challenges and manage any feelings of anxiety or uncertainty.
“The employee donation program is one of the opportunities we have at Newcastle Permanent to give back. Being enabled by your workplace to make a direct impact on the community and organisations you care about is incredibly rewarding.”
Byron concurred saying it’s a wonderful gift to receive.
“We just want to thank Newcastle Permanent and the employees who have made this generous donation,” Byron said.