BETWEEN running two foundations, as well as mentoring and educating children, West Perth based mum-of-two Di Wilcox “makes a difference” wherever she goes.
The founder of The Magic Coat Program and “chief inspirational officer” of Make A Difference WA helps children and people overcome adversity.
Wilcox, a teacher of more than 20 years, said she came up with The Magic Coat Program after watching children develop mental health problems including anxiety and depression from an early age.
“Children need some simple and effective strategies to help them to be calm, confident and caring individuals,” she said.
“I believe if we teach the children the strategies taught in the Magic Coat from a young age we will lessen, domestic violence, violence in general, anxiety, depression and all the negative choices that come with these negative thoughts.
“The Magic Coat also helps children to believe in themselves even when they are in a situation where no else does.”
Working with children in schools, Wilcox facilitates the program using positive psychology strategies, techniques she said had worked across the board including in one of the State’s toughest high schools.
“Parents, teachers, police, social workers, psychologists, doctors and of course children fall in love with the Magic Coat,” she said.
“Children who have been bullied, children who feel that they don’t belong, children who hate themselves, children who think they are stupid, children who are neglected, children who have been abused and children who have witnessed things no child should see have all experienced the sense of hope, love and empowerment that the coat brings.”
As if running a foundation wasn’t enough, three years ago Wilcox became involved with Make a Difference WA, after the foundation lent its support to the program.
“The foundation decided to sponsor the program into schools and it has evolved because the board now has a vision to focus on the mental health and well being of our children in WA,” she said.
“Last year the board asked me if I would be interested in being their chief inspirational officer and this involves me speaking to all different types of people about why The Magic Coat Program is necessary and why Make A Difference WA want to ensure as many disadvantaged children and their families have access to the program as possible.
It works really well as a synergy because I have the greatest respect for the foundation and I am incredibly grateful for their belief in ensuring those that can least afford it don’t miss out.”
Make A Difference WA will hold a Coaches and Captains Breakfast at the Hyatt on December 13, where money raised would go towards helping disadvantaged women in refuges and prisons involved in the foundation’s programs.
“We will have Nine News’ Michael Thompson as emcee and he will interview Justin Langer, Tony Sage, Tony Popovic, Diego Castro, Nat Medhurst, Trevor Gleeson and Matthew Pavlich,” she said.
“These types of events are important to raise awareness of what the foundation is trying to achieve and how people within the community can get involved in making the difference.”
WHAT: Make a Difference Captains and Coaches Breakfast
WHERE: Hyatt Regency
WHEN: Thursday December 13 from 7am-9am