Sutherland Shire Family Services secures vital long-term funding for youth and domestic violence support

Stronger future: A new partnership will support the ongoing sustainability of two key projects Sutherland Shire Family Services offers to help families affected by domestic violence, and young people facing social, emotional or family challenges. Picture: Chris Lane
Stronger future: A new partnership will support the ongoing sustainability of two key projects Sutherland Shire Family Services offers to help families affected by domestic violence, and young people facing social, emotional or family challenges. Picture: Chris Lane

A group handshake marked the start of what is hoped will become a promising future for families in need, including those from domestic violent backgrounds.

Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) announced a new multi-year partnership with Sharks Have Heart and the Woolooware Bay Town Centre development - a joint step that will expand resources to help those disadvantaged.

It means various projects launched by SSFS will have widened support, and that means extra pressure off having to fund vital programs on their own, and ensuring they will be sustained until 2022.

This funding ensures that the Building Resilience in Children (BRIC) Project will continue. It is a specialised domestic violence intensive therapeutic program that provides a targeted service to families with young children who have been exposed to the trauma of domestic violence.

The BRIC Project is an early intervention program works from the knowledge that young brains can heal from early trauma.

As part of sponsorship, some of the funds will also be committed to support Engadine District Youth Services (EDYS), which offers a youth drop in centre, music studio, and a youth and family worker program.

EDYS offers after school and school holiday activities for teens, but is also developing innovative programs that utilise technology to connect young people to their communities.

Woolooware Bay and Cronulla Sharks have committed to the long-term support. Sharks Have a Heart is the community outreach arm of Cronulla Sharks Rugby League Football Club. It has given $200,000 across four years to Sutherland Shire Family Services.

Through the donation, Woolooware Bay Town Centre, developed jointly by Aoyuan International and Capital Bluestone, continues its four-year association with SSFS.

"This partnership reinforces our commitment to families and young people in the shire," Capital Bluestone chief executive, Ben Fairfax, said.

"We have supported this wonderful service for the last four years in varying capacities, and this additional funding confirms the value we see from this organisation to the Sutherland Shire community."

Sharks Have Heart chief executive, George Nour, says through its existing relationship with SSFS, it is evident to see the "wonderful work they do in the community and the impact it has".

"In addition to supporting their Love Bites schools program, this next investment will have a greater impact on families experiencing trauma from the impact of domestic violence," he said.

Jacqlyn Paneras of Aoyuan International says family and community is at the heart of its business, with the aim of leaving a vibrant key legacy.

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