Central Coast Kids in Need

by LukeAdmin

Retired nurse Lorraine Churchill is one of the finalists of Westfields Local Heroes that recognizes the important contribution made to the community by locals, which is to be announced on 12th October. Through Central Coast Kids in Need, Lorraine has dedicated the past 16 years to providing financial help to families with premature newborns or children who need hospital care in both Sydney and Newcastle.

As Lorraine tells it, Central Coast Kids in Need is a small volunteer group of 18 members, that gets no government assistance and is a not for profit organization that has no paid employees. Central Coast Kids In Need fundraises to assist local families of seriously ill children and children with disabilities, with their accommodation costs so that families can stay with their children whilst they undergo specialised treatment in both Sydney and Newcastle hospitals. We also assist with high cost prescription items, specialised formula’s, quality of life equipment and travel expenses.

A large proportion of the children are cancer patients, premature babies with life threatening health issues, bone marrow transplants, organ transplants, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, Autism and ADHD, as well as children with disabilities.

Central Coast Kids in Need has been established for 28 years and initially only had 3 hospitals on our books, Westmead Children’s Hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick and John Hunter. Though over the past year we have had numerous premature babies airlifted to Royal North Shore and Royal Hospital for Women Sydney, as occasionally we have to go to wherever there is a NICU bed available, as hospitals in our area are not able deal with premature babies less than 31 weeks.

Some children are in the hospital for months on end and this can put an enormous financial strain on families as they go from 2 salaries down to 1, with mum having to stay with their sick child and dad trying to work and visit whenever possible. Central Coast Kids in Need pays travel costs for these trips and subsequent visits after the child has been released from hospital, if there is a need for them to attend clinics for treatment.
We rely on Social Workers to introduce families to our organization and we don’t means test our families as they still have every day living expenses such as mortgages, rates, insurances and utility bills to pay.

Over the past 16 years Central Coast Kids in Need has outlaid in excess of $4.02 million and assisted in excess of 3256 families.

Last financial year we helped 309 families, paying out $321,553 in assistance. Already this financial year we have 151 families on our books and have paid out $55,124.

Central Coast Kids in Need raises funds through donation houses in local businesses, recycling cans and scrap metals. We also run an annual raffle held in conjunction with The Adam (Molch) Hillier Surf Classic held on the October Long Weekend as well as charity days run by various organisations with our assistance. Unfortunately due to Covid these events haven’t been able to go ahead so we are dramatically down on funds and do not qualify for Government Stimulus Assistance as we are all volunteers.

We do however apply for Grants from the Club’s NSW CDSE Grant Scheme, philanthropic trusts and foundations, along with the generosity of the local community.

It’s with these grants and donations, along with the community spirit and generosity of the people on the Central Coast that allows us to do what we do and keeps us keeping on.

We endeavour to continue this fundraising to keep our families together during their time of crisis, we strive to make these children’s lives as happy as we can, as nothing is more important in our lives than our kids.

To our knowledge we are the only volunteer group of our kind in NSW.

Should you require any further information or wish to donate, call Lorraine on 0428 326 284 or email lorraine@cckin.com.au

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