Luke Harrison: Paradise Kids : Westfield Local Heroes 2018
The teen whose music gives hope to kids in grief
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled Paradise Kids to provide support to numerous members within the local community. They were able to fund an extra parent facilitator for the children's groups during 2018, produce a new take-home resource (My Flipping Brain) for the children's groups, print two storybooks for children ('Where's My Dad' and 'Unbreakable You', produced by the Ian Mavor Foundation), restock consumables for group programs, restock sandpits with fresh sand for play therapy, provide new equipment for the boys' group, provide free vocal training & resources for children aged 7 to 17 within the Angel Choir and provide sponsorship packages to families who are unable to attend programs due to financial hardship.
Hundreds of children have been touched by the books, resource packs and vocal choir training sessions created by Paradise Kids. The charity has been able to provide simple extras that
make a big difference to the running of the programs and in raising awareness of the organisation.
Luke Harrison is using his musical gift to provide hope and encouragement to children when they need it most.
The talented 13-year-old singer, songwriter and actor is no stranger to the stage and has even released an original song - Heaven’s Song.
Luke is already giving up his time to help children less fortunate than himself as a young ambassador for Paradise Kids, a centre dedicated to providing specialised programs and activities for children dealing with grief.
“It all started four and a half years ago when my grandfather spent the last 10 weeks of his life in Hopewell Hospice,” says Luke.
“After personally going through that difficult time I realised there was a need to help children going through similar experiences.”
From its home on the Gold Coast, Paradise Kids helps 400 children and their families every year to grieve after death, illness, loss and other traumatic events.
As a young ambassador for Paradise Kids, Luke volunteers at fundraisers and lends his voice to Christmas performances with the centre’s Angel Choir. He also uses his growing profile as a performer to raise awareness of the centre’s mission.
“I am also available to speak at events, sing and personally offer support to the children at Paradise Kids and residents at Hopewell Hospice,” he says.
Outside his work with Paradise Kids, Luke is a mentor to younger singers and his personal goal is to touch lives around the world with his voice.
Luke says he is humbled to be voted a Westfield Local Hero.
“I am excited and very happy that Paradise Kids can continue their amazing work in the community and ‘heal the heartache’ in so many children’s lives.”
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.