Making a difference behind a desk & out on the high seas

There’s no doubt that at Viridity, we have the good fortune to work with some wonderful clients from all walks of life. Whilst we specialise in bookkeeping and payroll for both inventory and manufacturing based businesses we also like to work with not-for-profit organisations.

This month we celebrate our 6th year of working with Making Waves Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation making tangible changes in the lives of young people with disabilities,  learning or social difficulties. They support, develop and encourage young people to improve their confidence, self-esteem, outlook on life and change the perception of what living with a ‘disability’ means.

They do this through a number of programmes suitable for school age children to young adults.  We sat down with Clive Hassett, interim CEO and Nicole Dunn, Events and Fundraising Manager of Making Waves Foundation to talk about what they do, and how we (and you!) can get involved.

“Making Waves Foundation have a number of well-established programmes from Winds of Joy to Winds of Change programmes designed to foster a positive learning experience for school aged kids and improve the ways in which they operate in their daily lives” Clive explained. “The Winds of Joy programme, for example was created to foster teamwork and optimism by providing fun, memorable and rewarding experiences on the sea.”

The programme seeks to support young people to challenge themselves and reframe their mindset into an ‘I can’ approach. Crewed by dedicated volunteers and experienced sailors this programme has changed the lives of thousands of young people over the past 26 years.

“The Winds of Change programme is for senior school children really struggling to finish and even attend school on a day to day basis.  Behavioural and/or learning difficulties in the traditional classroom environment can leave students feeling isolated, anxious and lacking in confidence which plays into truancy and acting out.” Said Nicole. “By taking the students into a hands-on, adventure-based learning experience we can build on a sense of achievement, teamwork, personal responsibility and growth over the 8 week programme. The results are really clear. Some students start with little or no confidence and finish with a real sense of self and confidence. It’s inspiring.”

In 2018 an apprenticeship programme for young adults, Wright of Passage was founded.

It’s a workplace learning programme designed to support those disengaged with learning and on the cusp of leaving school. In a hands on, trade based, skills-focussed environment. The programme promotes practical, life, personal and interpersonal skills.

“At the heart of our foundation is the inherent belief that we all have potential to be fulfilled and our goal is to find a way to unlock that potential.  We want all our participants to have the confidence to take advantage of opportunities out in the world beyond school and live a full and active life.” Said Clive.

The success of the Wright of Passage programme speaks for itself. In the first year, the students restored a wooden sailing boat and then sailed it from Sydney to Hobart. Now that’s a display of resilience, commitment and teamwork!  Most of the students are all also now working in apprenticeships, gainfully employed, and one is even studying Cybersecurity at university.

The Viridity team believe in making a difference so in addition to the accounts focussed work we do for Making Waves Foundation we also volunteer at the annual fundraising Regatta. You don’t have to be a sailor (goodness knows none of us are!) but there are a number of ways you too can make a difference.

“At the end of the day, as a not for profit we have a number of volunteer roles for people with all sorts of skills to assist with” says Nicole.

Making Waves are always looking for keen volunteers to help deliver their programs and support the Foundation.

If you feel you can help, in any way, head to www.makingwavesfoundation.com.au to learn how or contact them at: info@makingwavesfoundation.com.au

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