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NORTHERN BEACHES - BURDEKIN ASSOCIATION AT RISK

posted: 23 Jun 2014
Youth charity at risk - Funding lost for youth homeless services...

Long standing and well respected local youth charity The Burdekin Association is facing the daunting prospect of closure following a decision by the NSW Government not to fund the well-respected Northern Beaches youth provider.

The NSW Department of Family and Community Services has announced that the Burdekin Association and its partner Phoenix House have been unsuccessful with their tender to provide services to more than 700 young people under 25 years of age.

The Burdekin Association based in Brookvale has been helping some of the most vulnerable members of the Northern Beaches community for more than 30 years. The future of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Sydney’s Northern Beaches is unclear.

The Chair of the Burdekin Association, Justene Gordon told the Manly Daily. “We are devastated at the impact that this could have on vulnerable young people on the Northern Beaches – but we are not finished yet. I have been in contact with the office of Mike Baird MP, and also the Chair of the successful tenderer. We are open to sub-contracting and applying for other funding sources. There MUST be a way to keep these services local.”

She added, “People on the Northern Beaches have big hearts – Burdekin would be immensely grateful for your support – please contact the Council or your local MP if this is important to you.”

Burdekin Association Executive Officer, Karen Berman said; “We have walked alongside hundreds of vulnerable young people to help them rebuild their lives. We have the flexibility to respond to changing needs or service gaps, and the ability to tap into local resources – we need the support of the Northern Beaches Community now more than ever before. It is important that delivery of these services remains local.”

About Burdekin Association:

The Burdekin Association has over 30 years-experience working on the Northern Beaches with our most vulnerable young people and their families. We are highly regarded within the local community.

We were second in the state to gain accreditation through the Office of the Children’s Guardian proving the quality of our service delivery.

We are now at risk of losing extensive specialist local knowledge and skills from the area. 

Strong networks and joint collaborations that have been essential to assist young people out of homelessness will be lost.

Our model of service delivery provided a continuum of care to at risk young people that would meet them at any stage of their development and independence – this will no longer be the case.

Trusting relationships built over years with both our clients and other community providers will go.

Excerpt from Mike Baird’s support letter (within tender)

“The Burdekin Case Managers regularly go above and beyond normal work hours to assist and support clients. Their local knowledge, sound record and respected practices help to ensure that young people are offered the best opportunities that are available.”

Excerpt from Prof Brian Burdekin AO (within tender)

“The strength’s that such a locally based organisation can provide to its community are evident in the way The Burdekin Association assists young people to return home to their family or provide accommodation and support service to young people that encompass all aspects of a young person’s life, from a bed, health, education and family.”

Excerpt from Jessie a client

“The generosity of their staff routinely exceeds their responsibility to their clients. As someone who came from a neglectful household, the positivity, empathy, kindness and goodness that the Burdekin staff have shown me has been a new and life changing experience for me.

Ends

Media contact

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Justene Gordon, Chair of Burdekin Association, on mobile: 0415 147 314

 
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