MANDURAH’S Young Hearts will reopen its counselling services to children thanks to a grant from the Telethon Trust.
The Young Hearts program, an Anglicare WA initiative, was established to provide counselling support to children up to 18 years old living with experience of family and domestic violence.
The WA company was forced to shut down its Young Hearts Mandurah program, reduce staffing in Rockingham and cancel group sessions in 2016 because of lack of funds.
Anglicare WA chief executive Ian Carter said the program would focus on domestic violence counselling for children who often felt unsafe and might experience isolation, helplessness and fear.
Mr Carter said the Telethon grant would help expand this service.
“Young Hearts is a vital community service, but it receives no government funding so it relies entirely on public support and corporate philanthropy,” he said.
“The demand on this important program has continued to grow with big waitlists.
“This has been a struggle in WA’s weaker economy in recent years and as a consequence we had to close our Mandurah Young Hearts program and reduce our Rockingham service to one part-time counsellor,” Mr Carter said.
Anglicare WA’s successful fundraising event last year, topped with the Telethon grant, would enable the program to reopen.
“The money from Telethon along with last year’s fundraiser for Young Hearts now means we can reopen the Mandurah service, go full time in Rockingham and bring down the long waiting list for children and parents seeking help,” Mr Carter said.
“Young Hearts puts children first, helping them build healthy relationships and developing skills to thrive into the future.”