Fundraiser to help 'in demand' charity move to bigger location

Published 4:00pm 24 May 2022

Fundraiser to help 'in demand' charity move to bigger location
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A Moreton Bay charity that helps hundreds of people each year will host a special luncheon next month to raise funds to move to a new location. 

The fundraiser will benefit The Carer’s Foundation Australia - an organisation that provides unique wellness programs to support the emotional, physical and mental wellbeing of unpaid carers across the country.

The foundation was set up in 2015 by founding director Ronnie Benbow and her husband Michael.

Speaking to Moreton Daily, Ronnie says funds raised from next month’s luncheon will help the charity find a larger location to operate from, which in turn will mean they can assist more people.

“We have outgrown where we are at Cedar Creek because there is just so much need in the community,” Ronnie says.

“I have been getting anywhere between two to five phone calls a day from carers who are not coping, in desperate need of support and require time to restore their own health.

“There are more than 540,000 unpaid carers in Queensland alone, with more than 100,000 of them being carers who are under the age of 25, and mainly teenagers.

“Caring for someone else is a massive responsibility. Many carers don’t have any choice, which means they sacrifice their own lives to look after their loved one.”

“This can then lead to severe ongoing wellness and mental health issues because of the extreme stress and anxiety they experience each day. Many carers are exhausted and feel broken from compassion fatigue.

“As the only charity in Australia that helps and supports unpaid carers by providing wellness programs, it is vital we move into a bigger location.”

Fundraiser to help 'in demand' charity move to bigger location

Plans to expand

When the foundation relocates into a new location, Ronnie (pictured above) says they will be able to offer more support for those reaching out for help.

“We already provide wellness programs at no cost to unpaid family carers from 12 years old, and host regular one and three-day retreats, including mother/daughter days, father/son days, male carer retreats, parents of children with special needs, plus many others,” Ronnie says.

“We host the retreats locally at Cedar Creek, on the Gold Coast, and Northern New South Wales, with carers from all over Queensland and Australia attending.

“When we are able to move into a bigger location, it will serve three purposes; Firstly, it will be a centre where carers can come anytime they need to so they don’t have health breakdowns; Secondly, it will also serve as a training centre where we can train our volunteer facilitators who help with our retreats; Thirdly, we will do it as a social enterprise so we can do paid corporate retreats.

“The third option will give us more long-term sustainability as we are limited with the funding we receive. Since we are not government funded, we are reliant on grants, gifts, donations and fundraisers, like the upcoming luncheon.”

Ronnie says she has already identified the new location but will reveal more details when everything is finalised.

Reserve your spot

The luncheon will be held at the Victoria Park Golf Complex from 11.30am-3.30pm on Friday, June 17.

Each guest will receive a full drinks package, plus a two-course luncheon in the Marquee Room overlooking the city.

Guest speakers on the day include Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner – Chair of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust, former Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett, as well as entertainment by Naomi Price, who is one of Australia's leading cabaret and theatre performers.

The day will also feature a fashion parade, raffles and a lucky door prize.

To reserve your seat, click here.

Recognised for their efforts

The Carers Foundation Australia was recognised for the contributions they make to the community by being awarded the Not-For-Profit Excellence Award at last year’s Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence and Innovation Awards.

“It was a wonderful surprise to win that award last year. We didn’t expect that,” Ronnie says.

“It was nice to get that acknowledgement because a lot of people didn’t know about The Carers Foundation before that night.

“The awards are incredible because they support businesses and organisations in the Moreton Bay Region, and it gives recognition of our charity in the wider community.”

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