Warrnambool Beyond the Bell action group launches Donate for the Kids Christmas appeal

Generous: Brophy school and community program manager Rahman Gray and Warrnambool City Council youth development planner Katie McKean are looking for more items to fill the Beyond the Bell Donate for the Kids appeal bin. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Generous: Brophy school and community program manager Rahman Gray and Warrnambool City Council youth development planner Katie McKean are looking for more items to fill the Beyond the Bell Donate for the Kids appeal bin. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A first-time Christmas appeal is hoping to give Warrnambool children the gift of education this festive season.

Donate for the Kids, an initiative of Warrnambool’s Beyond the Bell Local Action Group, has launched a Christmas gift appeal.

Donate to the Kids has been running for about three months, helping local children with uniforms, shoes and other items identified by schools. This has been expanded in December to include gifts with a focus on education.

Donate for the Kids started when local schools reported that some children were arriving at school without proper uniforms.

Warrnambool’s Beyond the Bell Local Action Group chair Glenys Phillpot said the program had prompted a great community response.

“So far we’ve supported three local primary schools and collected dozens of school uniforms, shoes and socks, toiletries, jackets and blankets that were also requested by schools,” she said.

“We’ve had a lot of support from local businesses who are happy to host a donation bin.” During December, Donate for the Kids is looking for jigsaws, board games, books, card games and colouring books and pencils.

“Donate for the Kids is all about getting children set up so they have the ability to learn and thrive and achieve. By donating toys that are fun and educational we can continue to highlight the importance of education within the home,” Mrs Phillpot said of the appeal.

Warrnambool’s Beyond the Bell Local Action Group has also received philanthropic and donated money that it will give to local schools to spend on improving health and well-being outcomes.

Collection bins for education toys will be located at Warrnambool City Council, South West TAFE and Brophy Family and Youth Services during December.

Beyond the Bell aims to improve the education and health and well-being outcomes of the region’s young people.

In other Beyond the Bell news, the Beyond the Bell Great South Coast has received funding to expand its program to help pre-schoolers make the transition to school.

The State Trustees Australia Foundation is continuing its support with a new $90,000 allocation.

The State Trustees has funded Beyond the Bell since 2014. 

The funding will be used to expand the Stepping Stones to School program further across the Glenelg Shire and to expand the Nurture Nest program in Moyne Shire.

It will also help create resources for the Continuum of Need framework in at least six new schools in the Colac-Otway and Corangamite regions.