Presenting your 2019 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2019 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Penrith.
These inspiring local leaders were nominated and voted for by the community and will now be awarded a $10,000 grant for each of their affiliated organisations to help their important work to grow.
Westfield Local Heroes is a community recognition and grants program, connecting and enriching local communities. Launched in 2018, the program spans our 40 trade areas across Australia and New Zealand. In 2019, we are awarding $1.2 million to 120 local organisations.
In February 2020, we will open nominations for the 2020 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference
Your three Westfield Penrith Local Heroes are:
Nepean Area Disabilities Organisation
Inclusive . Passionate . Selfless
Keen footballer Brooke Wilkie leads a large team of disability support staff at western Sydney charity NADO. In 2013 she spent much of her own time setting up NADO’s Penrith Touch Football team after she realised many fans were being relegated to the sidelines because of their disabilities. Through her devoted support, the team now has 70 players who experience the joy and tears of winning and losing as well as gaining ball skills and learning about teamwork. “Young people who once had little to talk about to friends and family now have their own proud story to tell,” says Brooke.
Enthusiastic . Caring . Knowledgeable
When Christy Hartlage moved to the Blue Mountains from New Zealand, she had a 10-month-old son who didn’t sleep and no support in the area. “I would often cry wishing we had a grandmother nearby who wanted to hold the baby so I could have a shower or something to eat.” YAWN (You Ask, We Nurture), was born eight years ago out of Christy’s desperation “and the amazing community support we eventually found”. Christy runs YAWN as part of Connect Child and Family Services and links volunteers with parents who need a helping hand.
Nepean Therapy Dogs
Tireless . Selfless . Empathetic
Imagine an anxious child waiting to give evidence in court, a lonely person in a nursing home or an isolated school student. That’s where Nicole Celeban, President of Nepean Therapy Dogs, and her team of well-trained human and canine volunteers step in. They live the charity’s mission statement, “always there to show they care”, by comforting people of all ages at hospitals, nursing homes, special needs schools and courts throughout western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. The visits are extremely rewarding, says Nicole, who regularly takes her four dogs to visit hospital patients and witnesses.
Recognising all our 2019 nominees
If you need support, please phone Lifeline 13 11 14
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