August 2021 Newsletter
When you read through your newsletter, you’ll see the words ‘thank you’ again and again. We’re extremely grateful for your support at what continues to be an uncertain and challenging time.
With your help, we can continue to focus on our goal, which is to support some of the most vulnerable people in our country – people who have an intellectual disability.
I hope you feel proud of being part of our work at a time when we’re marking a significant milestone – 70 years since our work began. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still much more we need to do.
Every person with an intellectual disability is uniquely special – with interests, talents and a dream that’s entirely their own. Please, if you can, continue your generous support to ensure their dreams are fulfilled, not lost.
Steve Waters – EGM Sales and Marketing
Impact in action
Here are some of the ways you've helped people with an intellectual disability over the last 12 months.
With your help, some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are not forgotten. Thanks to you, they're continuing to receive the support they need to gain new skills and live as independently as possible.
Thank you for helping to make dreams come true…
Dream big. That’s what we encourage people with an intellectual disability to do. Thanks to your incredible generosity, and our wonderful community of supporters, more of those dreams can now come true.
A few months have gone by since our Matched Giving day – Dream Big 4 Me. But the buzz of excitement hasn’t even begun to fade. We were blown away by the generosity and kindness we received during 24 momentous hours.
Not once, but twice, our fundraising target was beaten. Our amazing supporters helped raise more than $100,000, which was beyond even our wildest expectations. Thanks to you and other loyal supporters, every gift made that day was matched, dollar for dollar, making it worth twice as much.
Our great hope is we can now turn twice as many dreams into reality. It feels like such a privilege when the people we work with share their dreams. Each one is as individual and precious as the person who made it. Some people open up about their wish to learn a particular skill.
Others have a dream job in mind. Many hope for a home where they feel they are among friends and can be part of the community.
No dream too big or too small – our goal is to help someone with an intellectual disability to achieve it. With your help, we can provide the support that’s needed, starting with developing our Thrive@Life program (keep reading to find out more).
A joke from Alex
It’s funny. It’s silly. It’s bound to put a smile on your face! Here’s our ambassador Alex’s latest rib tickler…
Q: I can’t decide if I should get a new mattress or not.
A: I should probably sleep on it.
With your help, vulnerable people can thrive…
During the pandemic, you’ve helped ensure people with an intellectual disability can continue to learn online. Now, with your support, we’re working on the next stage.
Getting up. Choosing suitable clothes for the activities of the day. Brushing our teeth. These are just some of the daily tasks we all do – perhaps forgetting that each is a skill that needs to be learned.
As you know, COVID-19 hit people with an intellectual disability very hard. Not only was the pandemic sudden and frightening, many of the vulnerable people we work with had to adjust to changes in their daily routine.
Our Thrive@Life program enabled people to continue learning essential skills online. The first module was called, ‘Taking care of yourself’, and touched on everything from personal hygiene to tips for wellbeing. Now, thanks to your generous support for our Matched Giving day, we can move ahead with module 2, ‘Looking after your home.’ With your help, people with an intellectual disability can gain vital skills like making the bed and cleaning the kitchen.
Thank you for your messages of support…
We recently wrote to you about Paul, Tegan and Josh. With your support, they’re a step closer to achieving their dreams.
As you might remember, Paul, Tegan and Josh all have the most beautiful dreams. Paul wants to get his learner’s permit. Tegan would love to work in a coffee shop. Josh’s great ambition is to be a gardener.
Paul has experience of driving in the paddock back home, and he’s absolutely capable of being a good and safe driver. At the moment, he’s getting in some extra practice using Virtual Reality, which helps him gain the skills he needs to get his learner’s permit at his own pace.
Paul is working very hard, because he can’t wait for the day when he can drive his mum to the shops, and can you imagine how proud she’ll feel? It’ll be a dream come true for her as well.
See for yourself some of the lovely messages we received when we shared Paul, Tegan and Josh’s stories.
“Congratulations to Paul, Tegan and Josh for working so hard to achieve their dreams. Keep up your good work.”
“Dear Tegan, You are doing well. Keep up the good work.”
“Always believe in yourself. You can do anything with a positive mind and a willing
“Believe in yourself. Follow your dreams.
You can do it!”
With your help and the help of our partners, there are new opportunities for all young people across Queensland.
As you know, this year marks our 70th anniversary and what better way to mark it than with a return to our roots.
Back when we began, children with an intellectual disability were routinely denied a place in mainstream schools. In response parents took matters into their own hands and raised funds to start new schools where their children would be cherished and supported.
Now, in partnership with Arrow Energy, we’re involved in Queensland schools once more.
This time, sharing our Virtual Reality learning resources that young people like Paul are using so successfully. Primarily designed for people with intellectual disability and autism, schools are seeing students with a range of abilities benefit from this technology. Programs cover travel safety, driving, warehouse and forklift safety, and life skills.
With Arrow Energy’s generous support, another four Virtual Reality learning hubs were placed into schools in the Surat Basin region this year. The Arrow Energy program has helped to leverage further funding, bringing the total number of Queensland schools with access to this technology to 18. In this way, more young Australians will have the opportunity to gain the skills they’ll need for the workplace, and for life, before they leave school.
A beautiful and lasting tribute…
Last year, we shared Katie’s story, and now we can show you the wonderful piece of art that’s been made to celebrate her life.
As you may remember, Katie and her mother, Mandy, were frequent visitors to the QArt Gallery in Kew, Victoria.
It’s a special place. On display is art that professional artists with intellectual and physical disabilities have created, with support from Endeavour Foundation. Katie, in particular, loved the story behind the art.
“She had a passion for social justice, and she was known for her love for others, her wit and her insight,” says Mandy. “She volunteered at a special school and worked with young children with disabilities.”
So when Katie tragically passed away, Mandy approached QArt about creating a beautiful and unforgettable tribute, to a beautiful and unforgettable person. It’s now been made and Mandy would like to share it with you.
The urn itself was specially made in the shape that Mandy chose. The blue background reflects Katie’s love of blue. She also loved bright yellow flowers, and the portrait was actually made by Katie herself.
A truly special gift…
There are many reasons why people remember Endeavour Foundation in their Will, but Charles’ was especially touching.
As you may know, gifts in Wills are extremely important to us, and make our work with vulnerable people possible.
Charles knew our work well because his beloved daughter Anne had an intellectual disability and attended our Learning and Lifestyle Centre in Toowoomba. For as long as Charles was able to, he drove Anne to us, knowing how happy she would be in our care. Anne, who didn’t speak, had the most expressive brown eyes, which danced with joy when she took part in her favourite craft activities.
When Charles’ wife Beryl, died in 1997, he became Anne’s sole carer. “When Charles lost Beryl, he was even more determined to ensure that Anne got the best that could be provided,” one of his executors, Marjorie, told us. A kind and loving father, Charles cared for Anne until she passed away, age 60.
Anne was Charles’ whole life, and he was grateful to Endeavour Foundation for bringing his daughter joy and fulfillment. So when Charles wrote his Will, he remembered our work and decided to help support the next generation of people with intellectual disabilities. When he recently died, 90 years young, his kind gift came to us.
We’re incredibly grateful to Charles, and to everyone who supports us in this way.
Gifts in Wills can:
- Enable vulnerable people to learn, live, work and flourish.
- Help set up new services, using new technologies like Virtual Reality.
- Ensure existing services, including our homes where people with an intellectual disability can live as independently as possible, continue in the future.