Workplace Giving Makes a Difference
August 26 2014, 11:11 am
Workplace Giving — an easy tax-free way to donate to The Royal Children's Hospital via your paycheck — has made a big difference over the past year.
The donated funds are helping two key programs push forward: the Chronic Illness Peer Support Programme (ChIPS) and Music Therapy.
For adolescents living with a chronic illness, talking about hospital experiences with friends and family can seem impossible.
Founded 20 years ago, ChIPS is an adolescent peer support program where young people with chronic illness can share their experiences, learn from each other and engage in activities that are often difficult to achieve or attempt in their everyday lives.
Almost entirely funded by donors like you, ChIPS provides a safe place where participants can be themselves and connect with people who truly understand them. Support is offered in three different ways:
- Facilitated and structured discussion groups where participants explore their challenges and successes
- Social activities like movie nights to encourage interpersonal skills
- Three-day camps with fun activities where attendees can get to know each other; a medical team is on stand-by should campers need assistance
ChIPS also works to promote leadership skills, with general and peer leadership workshops on offer, and senior members taking on the role of mentor for junior ChIPS members.
By providing a fun and functional place for adolescents can connect with peers in similar situations, the RCH is helping them find their way through dealing with their illness.
“When I was 16 and diagnosed with a chronic illness, my involvement in the ChIPS program increased my confidence, leadership skills, self-esteem and helped me to realise that I’m not alone on this journey. I’m kicking goals now because of the ChIPS program.”
-Jordan Hammond, past ChIPS Member, current ChIPS Volunteer and Fundraiser
No matter how you feel, a great song can put a smile on your face.
The RCH Music Therapy program has been focused on doing just that for 22 years. Entirely philanthropically funded by donors like you, Music Therapy helps children across a number of wards process their hospital experiences and find joy in difficult situations .
Over the past financial year, Workplace Giving supported Music Therapy within the Children’s Cancer Centre. In this time, approximately 1,600 patients benefitted from the program, many of whom were too unwell to leave their hospital room.
Engaging with cancer patients through song, music therapists help RCH kids cope with their illness, manage their pain, and promote their continued childhood development during treatment. Everything from nursery rhymes to Top 40 hits are used to shift a child’s mood and help them make the most of the positives experiences they share with their families, fellow patients and RCH staff while at the hospital.
Support of the Music Therapy program has propelled it forward and it now leads the way for these types of services in the Southern Hemisphere. The RCH are preparing to share the program’s successes at an upcoming international conference.
Here's a fantastic thank you from the Music Therapy Team: Janeen Bower, Elly Scrine, Lauren Miller, Jo Rimmer.
-Verse and chorus from "Kind and Generous" by Natalie Merchant
For more information on becoming a Workplace Giver, click here.