Each year CareSouth’s Illawarra Permanency Support Program (PSP) team host an awards night to recognise the hard work and achievements of the 80 children and young people they support.

The team have held an awards ceremony and dinner for children and young people and their carers for the past six years to acknowledge and celebrate the successes achieved over the previous 12 months.

Traditionally staff have held fundraisers – pie drives, sausage sizzles and bake sales – to raise money for the event and to purchase gifts for the children and young people. This year due to COVID-19 restrictions fundraisers were not possible and a sit-down dinner was off the table.

Fortunately thanks to generous donations from local businesses, such as The Agency Wollongong, CareSouth was still able to celebrate the achievements of the children and young people they support.

“The Agency Wollongong kindly donated $2500 so the team were able to provide gift vouchers to all of the young people in our program,” said Illawarra PSP caseworker Kathleen Vega.

“At CareSouth we work with a diverse mix of children and young people in care. On a daily basis we see them making progress in their lives, working hard in school, taking part and excelling in their chosen activities and contributing to their community.

“We feel it is important to recognise the achievements and the successes of the children and young people we work with and this would not have been possible this year without the support of our community partners like The Agency Wollongong.”

As well as individual awards and a gift voucher, each child and young person also received a letter from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who expressed his delight for the “tremendous work” CareSouth’s children and young people have achieved.

“Whether it’s been at home or at school, in sport or in the community, everything you’ve done has helped to make a difference,” wrote the Prime Minister.