Very Special Kids
Very Special Kids is a unique organisation that supports families across Victoria throughout their experience of caring for children with life-threatening conditions, from diagnosis through to recovery or bereavement. Such conditions include a range of neuro-degenerative, genetic and rare conditions, muscular dystrophy and cancer. Sadly, many of these children will not reach adulthood.
Each year, NovoFit partners with VSK to donate over 30 treadmills to the annual VSK 24-hour Treadmill Challenge. The Challenge has raised almost $4 million dollars for children in 24-hour care at the Very Special Kids Hospice over the last 6 years. The event is supported and promoted by premier Melbourne radio station 3AW, Channel 7 News and Channel 9 News.
Over 1,000 people participate in the event including corporates, celebrities, AFL players, politicians, and people that have been touched by Very Special Kids. All participants joined forces to raise as much money as possible and the treadmills never miss a beat!
Belgravia Foundation was created by the Belgravia Group to help connect people with a disability, of diversity and those who experience disadvantage to sport, aquatic, fitness, recreation and health programs. This occurs primarily in the communities in which Belgravia Leisure, Wellness, Genesis Fitness, Ninja Park and Coaching Zone operate facilities in Australia.
Belgravia Foundation started with Associate Professor Jeff Walkley’s appointment as National Disability and Diversity Manager in 2014.
Dr Walkley’s passion to advocate for the most vulnerable members of our communities has steered Belgravia Leisure’s thriving access and inclusion program, and is making a real difference to families across Australia and New Zealand.
His work and programs have received national acclaim and we are proud to have Dr Walkley take the helm as Chief Executive Officer of the Belgravia Foundation since the Foundation’s launch in late 2017. In this time, Alex Lord was appointed Chairman of the Foundation, whose executive sponsorship supports Dr Walkley’s vision to ensure everyone has access to a healthy and active lifestyle.
NovoFit proudly partners with the Belgravia Foundation and offers support in many different ways throughout the Calendar year of events and fundraisers.
Some of the amazing work Belgravia Foundation do;
CREATING IMPROVED ACCESS AND INCLUSION FOR PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY IN SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY PROGRAMS.
Being in, on and around water is a cherished national pastime enjoyed by Australians. Through Swimming and Water Safety Programs, people learn how to use and be safer in, on and around water. Access and inclusion in Swimming and Water Safety Programs by people with a disability is not as prominent as among other community groups. One factor contributing to this anomaly is the readiness and confidence of swimming and water safety teachers to include people with a disability into lessons. Recognising this, the Belgravia Foundation leads innovation in the training of swimming and water safety teachers, working with key training organisations to create evidence-based training, curriculum, resources and supports leading to improved access and inclusion for people with a disability in community-based swimming and water safety programs.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME! STAFF DEVELOPMENT TO SUPPORT CONNECTION TO LEISURE CENTRE PROGRAMS BY ALL.
Annually, millions of Australians engage in activities in their local leisure centre. These experiences offer opportunities to engage in healthy activity, while also promoting community participation, social connection and a sense of belonging. Leisure centres are key locations through which positive community engagement can occur. In order to support a positive experience for every person, regardless of diversity, gender, location, ability, or any point of difference, the Belgravia Foundation collaborates with key partners to create, trial, evaluate and roll-out an online staff training program about inclusion and access for ALL into leisure centres.
TAKE CHARGE! COMMUNITY-BASED EXERCISE FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
Research has confirmed exercise helps people manage and work toward recovery from mental illness. Mental illness has emerged as a national issue, and in many places, local communities are working to help people living with mental illness through Take Charge! Take Charge! is a free referral-based program that gives access and support to engage in exercise in leisure centres in the community for 60 days, followed by a negotiated co-contribution based on a person financial situation for ongoing access. The Belgravia Foundation, working with local communities throughout Australia, supports the roll-out of this program through staff training, program resources and partnership building, leading to youth and adults living with mental illness gaining the benefits of regular exercise.
COMMUNITIES HELPING COMMUNITIES.
The Belgravia Foundation actively supports self-help, and recognises that in diverse communities across the nation, different needs and priorities exist. Access and inclusion to sport, exercise, recreation and health activities in community leisure centres by those who have encountered barriers to participation in its many forms are addressed through partnership and collaboration. Through a community engagement strategy, the leisure-related needs and priorities of people who have been missing out are identified and addressed through the resources and expertise of the Belgravia Foundation. Local examples include connecting kids from impoverished backgrounds to sport, offering carers of people with a disability access to wellness activities, improving understanding of mental illness, sponsoring local athletes who are disadvantaged to receive training or travel support to show their capability in state, national or international competitions.
SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY
Swimming lessons support the individual learning needs of participants, to improve each person’s capacity toward independence in, on and around water. This program is delivered in one-to-one, small group and standard group lessons to strengthen water confidence, functional swim skills and the ability to take part in mainstream aquatic activities.
Fitness programs take into account each person’s goals and interests, aiding improvements in health and wellbeing through individual and group exercise programs.
Offer programs across a range of sports to help imprint a positive sport experience, build interest and confidence, improve mobility and motor skills, while fostering friendships in a team environment.
Offer a wide variety of options to be active and engaged in the community, including dance or trampolining classes, as well as play groups, birthday parties and group events in aquatic, sports and fitness centres.
Offer programs that provide the opportunity to gain improved flexibility, relaxation and a sense of calm. These programs include Yoga, Tai Chi, as well in specialist facilities offering wellness and spa therapies.