Local mental health and wellness charity, Waves of Wellness, is expanding its services across regional NSW, powered by a $58,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
The grant has enabled the purchase of a new van, which will enable Waves of Wellness to expand its program in the Hunter region and along the NSW North Coast.
It will also provide the employees and volunteers—who to date have been using their own private transport to tow a trailer —a dedicated and properly fitted-out vehicle.
Waves of Wellness Chief Executive Officer, Joel Pilgrim, said the new vehicle will enable the Waves of Wellness program to be delivered in a mobile capacity, supporting more people in the greater Newcastle area, along with transportation of equipment up the coast.
“In Australia, one in five people experience mental health challenges, and unfortunately the mental health of many Australians has been exacerbated this year as people struggle to come to terms with challenges created by COVID-19,” Joel said.
“Our message is simple – it’s OK not to be OK and you don’t ever have to go it alone.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for their support, they’re helping us expand our surf therapy programs supporting people experiencing mental health challenges.”
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair and former surfer, Phil Neat, officially handed over the keys earlier this month in his last project launch as Chair of the Board.
Following 17 years as a Director, the last four as Chair, Phil has been an avid supporter of many charities that have helped to increase mental health services throughout regional NSW.
“The Charitable Foundation has a remarkably simple mission. That is, to help rewrite the future of people who find themselves disadvantaged, marginalised or isolated in our regional communities,” Phil said.
“It’s been a privilege to work with various mental health charities during my time on the Charitable Foundation Board, it’s organisations such as Waves of Wellness that deliver the grass-roots services to help us to achieve this mission.
“I commend Waves of Wellness on their innovative surf therapy programs and for making strides in the mental health and wellness space. Today marks my last project launch as Chair of the Charitable Foundation, I look forward to closely following Waves of Wellness’ work into the future,” Phil concluded.
IMAGE | Waves of Wellness surf therapy program at Nobby’s beach