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Working together for NSW communities in need

Goodstart centres

2021 has been a year like no other and yet, there is so much to be proud of. In reflecting on both the challenges and ‘wins’ over the past year, it’s been nothing short of inspirational watching our nation rally behind important causes and communities in great need.

Some of the many communities greatly impacted by COVID-19 this year, were children and families living in western Sydney and western NSW. COVID-19 was unrelenting and community members endured months of lock-down and restrictions.

Lending a hand

What started as a call-out of, “How can we help?” led to a collaboration between Goodstart and its suppliers, donating much-needed essential items to thousands of children and families impacted by COVID-19 in western Sydney and western NSW communities.

Within weeks, thousands of donations via bulk shipments started arriving to local distribution hubs managed by NSW Health. On the ground staff selected and packed “care packs” for children and families in western Sydney (delivered via The Children’s Hospital at Westmead) and families living in western NSW communities, including Dubbo, Enngonia, Burke and Bathurst (delivered by staff at the Western NSW Local Health District).

Among the beneficiaries were some of the 2,500 children in western Sydney alone, who had been in isolation because they or a family member had become infected by COVID-19.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead described the support as “extraordinary” and were heartened that the donation of resources including toys, books and activity packs would bring children great joy and positive engagement.

Goodstart’s Chief Corporate Services General Manager Anna Learmonth said the initiative aimed to lend direct support to vulnerable children and families and reduce the impacts of COVID-19 wherever possible.

“For more than 11 years, we’ve been a firm part of the NSW’s communities and know first-hand how disruptive COVID-19 has been, especially for many children and families in vulnerable circumstances in western Sydney and western NSW communities,” Anna said.

“The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the NSW Health team responded to our offer of support and highlighted the essential items that were in high demand and challenging to source.

“Goodstart had many resources on hand to offer and our suppliers immediately rose to the call for support – many of them continuing to work directly with NSW Health to meet ongoing community needs."

Donations ranged from toilet paper, baby formula to nappies, hand wash, cleaning buckets and women’s sanitary items in addition to children resources including books and activity packs.

“Our nation is only as strong as our local communities and this is a great example of small contributions by many, can achieve far-reaching positive impact,” Anna said.

“It’s important we don’t lose sight of the social impacts of COVID-19 and wherever possible, draw on our strengths and resources as organisations and as individuals to support local communities during these difficult times.”

Goodstart would like to acknowledge suppliers including GMK Logistics, Coles, Woolworths, Kimberley Clark, Modern Teaching Aids and Winc for generously donating and their continued support for the western Sydney and western NSW communities.

Learn more about how Goodstart and its network of centres has lent support to local communities over the past year here
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