Funding a grand idea

Wanslea executive manager Stephan Lund and grandcarer Avril Manning. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d419205
Wanslea executive manager Stephan Lund and grandcarer Avril Manning. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d419205

Wanslea, which is in Fremantle, East Fremantle, Beaconsfield and White Gum Valley, provides support for grandparents who are full-time carers of their grandchildren.

The $500,000 will be allocated over four years, allowing Wanslea to fund respite, playgroups and other activities, and help the hundreds of grandcarers who use their services.

With the local branches providing access to childcare-related activities and a grandcare support group for people like Avril Manning who cares for her grandchildren Nathaniel (2) and Christian (5), Wanslea executive manager Stephan Lund said the funds would be spent on what the grandcarers see themselves needing.

‘This is a significant boost for grandcarer families that struggle financially, relying on pensions or small incomes,’ he said.

‘The children can have had a difficult start in life, including bereavement or parental issues related to drugs and alcohol, they may have had disrupted schooling and not had good educational opportunities. Grandparents often tell us they feel guilty because they can’t afford to give the grandchildren the types of experiences their friends at school are having.

‘We ask grandcarers what they could benefit from, providing opportunities for grandparents and grandchildren to go together to camps and retreats for a short break, providing educational support such as tutoring and counselling.’

Seniors and Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson said Wanslea was a vital organisation that helped thousands in their time of need.

‘This funding will provide valuable services to reduce stress and social isolation for our State’s grandcarers, who take care of around 4000 children,’ he said.

‘This could include short breaks for respite and activities which help grandcarers spend time with like-minded people and develop coping strategies.’