Over three weeks in July donations from Warehouse Stationery customers will help support hundreds of at-risk teens who aspire to change their lives.
This is fourth year that Warehouse Stationery stores throughout the country will be collecting donations for Aspire – The Salvation Army’s year-long youth development programme.
Over the past three appeals generous customers have added a donation to their bill raising more than $218,000 for Aspire. As the principal sponsor of Aspire, these funds have made a huge difference helping around 200 at risk young people aged between 11and 16 complete the programme.
Salvation Army social worker Jono Bell led the development and rollout of Aspire in 2015 and says it is a life changing programme for its participants.
“Some of the young people we work with are socially isolated or have got in with bad friends, drugs or alcohol and can be a struggle for schools to manage. We work closely with schools to identify the young people who would benefit from Aspire. Over the programme we’ve seen huge changes in their confidence. They finish the programme knowing they have something positive to contribute and that someone knows their dreams and is supporting them.”
Along with meeting weekly in small groups, Aspire participants also take part in a three day outdoor adventure experience and finish the year creating and carrying out a community project to benefit their local community. The programme also helps the wider family connect with additional support through The Salvation Army, Jono says.
“On a regular basis our youth development workers connect families of young people to our social services, foodbanks, budget advisors, counsellors, social workers, camps and youth programmes.”
Warehouse Stationery Chief Executive Officer Pejman Okhovat says the annual Aspire appeal is just one of many community initiatives the organisation supports to help families and young people in need.
“Warehouse Stationery is dedicated to helping families and young people flourish. We are delighted that our generous customers and passionate team got in behind the Aspire appeal to provide young people with the opportunity to develop skills they will use throughout their lives,” he says.