John Wallace Swim School has been making a splash in the Caloundra community for 40 years and this week supporters are wearing their PJs to help kids in care.
Manager Kristy Perkins was delighted to host a Pyjama Week for the fifth year running, to support The Pyjama Foundation’s National Pyjama Day (July 23) and raise much-needed awareness and funds for children in foster care.
“As a family-based business and working with children, the cause hits home,” she said.
“We have a few children in our school that are in care so it’s important cause for us to support.”
The swim school’s staff, kids, parents and grandparents are wearing their PJs during the week.
“Our staff really enjoy getting involved. It’s a different way to communicate and bond with our students, all while creating awareness for an amazing cause,” Ms Perkins said.
The Pyjama Foundation CEO and Founder Bronwyn Sheehan said the fundraising day was vital to the sustainability and growth of the foundation.
“Each year our day continues to expand its reach, and with every new passionate supporter we are able to change another life,” she said.
“Last year, despite the impacts of COVID-19, we had our most successful day ever raising more than $350,000 for our ‘Love of Learning’ Program.”
Mrs Sheehan said with more than 48,000 children in care across Australia, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done.
“Currently, we are only reaching 1400 children across the country,” she said.
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“We know our Love of Learning Program has the capacity to create real change in the lives of these kids.
“It is supporting them in building relationships, meeting the educational levels of their peers and giving these kids the belief that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.”
Queensland University of Technology Research Fellow Dr Ruth Knight has been working with the foundation to evaluate its Love of Learning Program and the impact it is having on children in care.
“The Pyjama Foundation is well regarded in the community for its evidence-based positive contribution to improving the lives of Queensland’s children and young people in care,” she said.
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“The Pyjama Foundation attracts a high quality of volunteers who are well trained and supported.
“These volunteers are committed to achieving the best practice and establishing a long-term connection with young people at risk of exclusion and isolation.”
All funds raised by National Pyjama Day go directly towards supporting the Foundation to recruit, screen and train committed volunteers to make an incredible difference in the lives of children in care.
All registrants receive a free host kit for their fundraising event which includes, stickers, bunting, posters, balloons and much more to support a successful event.
Thousands of people across Australia are expected to be involved in National Pyjama Day, to raise vital funds to support children in foster care.
More than 40 businesses on the Sunshine Coast are set to help raise funds to directly support the program in the region.
For more information or to register for this year’s event, visit www.nationalpyjamaday.com.
About the Pyjama Foundation
The Pyjama Foundation was founded in 2004 to give children in foster care the opportunity to change the direction of their lives with learning, life skills, and confidence.
Alarmed by the statistics highlighting poor literacy and numeracy levels of children in care, and how this contributes to a lifetime of disadvantage, founder Bronwyn Sheehan made a decision – a decision to offer hope and a more positive outlook for these children.
Through a simple program known as the Love of Learning Program, volunteers called Pyjama Angels are matched with a child in care, and spend just one hour a week focusing on learning based activities.