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The stories behind the programs we fund

Each of the projects funded through United Way Ballarat provides us with a report twice a year.  Here are some of the stories we recently received.


John* is a mentee in our LARF primary group.  His initial involvement in the program, while generally positive, was fairly reserved and included some gaps in attendance.  When John first started at LARF, he experienced heightened nerves and had feelings of anxiety.  However, John’s confidence in attending the program has grown considerably and his now enjoying spending time with the other mentees and his mentor.

John has really benefited from having the opportunity to make friends with other young people who attend the same school as him.  Spending time at LARF has assisted John to have more confidence to have friends, and he interacts with these other LARF mentees at school – the LARF friendships have transferred to his personal school friends.  Previous to attending LARF, John had very few friends and was rather socially isolated.

John has not experienced many activities within the community with his family and has found that LARF has given him opportunities to do ‘fun things’ which were never previously offered to or financially viable for John to be able to participate in.

John’s relationship with his mentor has grown.  Whilst he and his mentor initially found conversation difficult due to having very different interests – this is now not an issue and it is clear to see the enjoyment they share in each other’s company.

On a couple of occasions when he initially joined the program, John demonstrated some testing behaviour at LARF – with it taking some time for him to feel that he could safely place his trust with us.  In time, his level of trust has grown considerably and John is an absolute pleasure to spend time with.  He has also become one of the leaders in the group and the other LARF participants respect him and enjoy his friendship.  Find out more about this program here


20160129_090159Phoenix College Breakfast Program

One young girl – Emily* – often gets in trouble in class and is perhaps not the most reliable girl in the school.

Emily is regularly late, noisy, disruptive and argumentative. However, she has become a regular, consistent, courteous and helpful member of the ‘breakfast club family’.

Emily attends almost every morning and regularly seeks to assist in any way possible – usually involving preparing and serving Milo to other students. We are hoping that Emily will begin to show more of the person she is at Breakfast Club in her classes as well.  Find out more about this program here


BreezeWay Meals Program

Stacey* had been attending BreezeWay Meals Program for well over ten years.  Stacey’s partner had passed away in the previous 12 months, and she had been struggling emotionally with his death.

Stacey’s daily dependence on alcohol was increasing, and she had found herself evicted from their primary residence due to a number of factors.

breezeway-photoThrough the assistance of our Outreach Worker, and our Assessment program we were able to find transitional housing for Stacey, link her directly with a Drug & Alcohol counsellor, and begin the task of re-establishing links with a GP and mental health assessment for future assistance.

Stacey utilised BreezeWay Meals Program during this transition but has not needed our services for almost six months now.  Stacey drops in from time to time to say hello to staff and advise of her progress. Find out more about this program here







United Way Ballarat is working to advance the common good of our community by focusing on Education, Income and Health.  These are the building blocks for a good life—a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.  United Way Ballarat asks all the citizens of Ballarat and surrounding areas to do three things: GIVE – money and goods; ADVOCATE – on behalf of those who cannot; and VOLUNTEER – to invest time in our community More about United Way Ballarat


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