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Tuesday 12 April 2022

Helping our young Hunter and Central Coast locals heal after losing a family member or guardian

Thanks to Newcastle Permanent’s CommunityAssist program, young people in the Hunter and Central Coast have access to the vital support they need to overcome the inevitable grief, loneliness and isolation that comes with losing a mother, father, sister or brother, or legal guardian at a young age.

The $15,000 employee donation has sprinkled some magic to 15 local kids and teenagers aged between seven-seventeen who are currently dealing with grief, enabling them to attend Feel the Magic’s first regional three day camp, “Camp Magic”, for free in June later this year.

Throughout the duration of the camp, young people work with trained mentors and participate in psychoeducational sessions, as well as fun, physical activities to help heal their grief and connect with others who have experienced a similar loss.

Feel the Magic CEO Adam Blatch said the support of Newcastle Permanent employees is helping to bring its much needed programs to the Hunter and Central Coast region.

He said in Australia, just over 300,000 children will sadly lose a parent before they reach the age of 18.

To put this into perspective, there is most likely a child grieving the loss of a parent in every class at school.

“Childhood bereavement causes disruptions in relational, academic, and occupational functioning later in life, and is associated with greater risk of maladaptive coping, mental health disorders, substance abuse, suicide, and early mortality,” Adam said.

“Grieving children can feel isolated and alone. They require ongoing support to develop strategies to cope and move forward with their lives,” he said.

This donation was made possible by Newcastle Permanent’s Business Manager – Operations, Sabina Andersson, who nominated Feel the Magic to her colleagues as a charity worthy of support. She said the charity is close to the heart of a very good friend of hers.

“Feel the Magic is helping individuals deal with their grief and supporting them towards a positive future which will benefit the community as a whole,” Sabina said.

“I also like the whole of family approach. There is support for parents and carers to navigate their own grief and simultaneously the grief of their child to move forward as a family,” she said.

“The other great thing about Feel the Magic is that it brings families in similar situations together to support each other and create a community rather than feelings of isolation.”

Feel the Magic was founded in 2013, and provides free in person and virtual camps, early intervention grief education programs and other resources that aim to empower grieving kids and families so they can begin to move forward with their lives.

The charities annual fundraising bike ride will kick off in the Hunter Valley from 16 -17June, finishing at Camp Magic in Lake Macquarie, where participating children and teenagers will be greeted by passionate mentors.

To find out more about Feel the Magic’s programs, the bike ride, or to volunteer or donate visit

Under the CommunityAssist Program, employees donate almost $60,000 a year to charities they nominate and vote on. Almost $1 million has been provided since CommunityAssist began in 1997.

Kids with matching Feel the Magic t-shirts

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