Stories of Hope
We help many charity partners to make a difference in young people’s lives. Here are just some of the stories of the incredible impact we as an industry have made.
“Sam”, The Pyjama Foundation & UN LTD
“Sam” was nine years of age when he was removed from his family and placed in foster care. He had never been to school and had no literacy or numeracy skills when he was placed into Year 4. Sam was then transferred to the special education unit.
Over the next two years he lived in five different homes.
The shining light in Sam’s life arrived when he was introduced to Cathy, his volunteer Pyjama Angel. Cathy was able to follow Sam throughout his five foster placements, providing a constant presence when the rest of his world was changing.
Together Cathy and Sam read books aloud, played educational games, and focused on fun. Together they are developing Sam’s love of learning – ultimately making a positive impact on his life and through care and support helping him to see a bright future for himself.
How does UN LTD support The Pyjama Foundation?
Through the financial support provided by UN LTD, it has helped the organisation to further expand their highly successful program into the western Sydney region. In addition, UN LTD has established a workplace giving and corporate mentoring program with one of our industry partners which aims to deliver a cost-neutral rollout in Melbourne.
Cairns Murri Crew - 'Built to Last', Desert Pea Media (DPM) & UN LTD
‘Song Nation Vol. 1’ is a compilation of original Hip Hop music and online videos celebrating the very much alive and vibrant Indigenous contemporary culture across regional and remote areas of Australia and Torres Straits Islands. The first single (out now) is ‘Built To Last‘.
Completely independent and unlike anything in the industry, Desert Pea Media (DPM) known for their unique dialogue-driven song writing workshop process, have created one of the most exciting and culturally significant albums in recent times.
Written as part of a collaborative process with DPM facilitators and young people from Cairns High School in Cairns (QLD) a.k.a Cairns Murri Crew the track pays homage to Gimuy Walabura Yidinji people and the many elders and community leaders who fought for Indigenous rights for decades.
‘I can tell ya bro – If you don’t know where you been… I can tell ya sis – If you missed out on your dreams… I can tell you that the spirit is strong, and if you know the song – Then you can sing along with me.’ - Built to Last
How does UN LTD support Desert Pea Media?
UN LTD provided financial support for The Song Nation project, which identifies and breaks down social and cultural issues through collaborative storytelling, music, film and performance. The aim is to empower Indigenous young people through truth, hope and a mantra of positivity.
“Jake”, KYDS & UN LTD
“Jake” lived at home in a small unit with his mother, but when his brother returned to live with them, he subjected Jake to damaging physical and verbal abuse.
Jake was forced from his bedroom and had to sleep on the floor in his mother’s room, often hiding under the bed to avoid the constant abuse. Jake’s life coping skills suffered significantly as he struggled socially and academically.
Life became so tormenting for him that he was forced into leaving home and living at a refuge centre. Through the counselling and support of KYDS P.A.T.S (Paying Attention To Self) program, Jake has miraculously completed his final year at school and began the committed process of developing skills to cope with his challenges.
How does UN LTD support KYDS?
UN LTD funded the PATS program which provides tools, skills and support to help young people impacted by mental illness within their family.
A Poem by Jessica
This poem was created by “Jessica” based on her personal experiences and challenges. The environment that “Jessica” was brought up in lead her to self harming on a daily basis.
When I close my eyes there is a world I envision
a world with no lies no hurt and no discriminative division
a world where every boy and girl can feel safe when they rest their head and the only monsters they fear are the pretend ones under their bed
A world where parents actually care about the young ones they produce and work hard to love them and not make an excuse
for not supporting their dreams and shutting them up when they sing
all they want to do is share in the joy that they bring
A world where they don’t use their fists to give their kids’ discipline
where they don’t ignore their kids’ lives and actually start to listen to them where they wouldn’t dream of missing their daughter’s netball game and choose to sit at home instead pissing the family’s money down the drain
Where dads and mums don’t walk in on their sleeping daughter or son and molest them to create another monster to come
where paedophiles are locked away instead of taking kids’ innocence I shouldn’t cry though cuz’ that experience gave me resilience
A world where kids don’t grow up around alcohol abuse and drugs knowing the only friends their parents have are sleaze bags and thugs where it isn’t drilled into their head “do as I say not as I do”
but instead, I love you, you’re my baby girl and I want to take care of you
A world where parents only choose to use words that are nice
instead of feeding their kids shit that makes them feel cold as ice.
you’re ugly, stupid, worthless – I wish you were never born
kids shouldn’t have to build an immunity to this kind of violence and scorn
A world where we find positive ways to heal the pain
not doing drugs, drinking up and taking razors to our veins where they realise your hurt before you turn to a noose and hold you and tell you it’s alright, I’ll be there for you
A world where kids can go to school without shaking in their shoes
cuz they know the bullies are waiting there to begin their abuse
getting notes put in their lockers, tripped over, stuff thrown at them in class until the quiet victim snaps and gets in trouble for putting the bully on his arse
A world that’s no longer ruled by corruption and greed
the rich get richer blind to the homeless searching for a free feed
a world where people ain’t hated for sexual orientation and skin colour where we can all hold hands and know that we’re sisters and brothers
Cuz when push comes to shove, we’re human, we all bleed red I can’t understand why people can’t get it through their head See this one world? It’s the one world that we were given
so we might as well make it a safe place for us to live in
A world where we can walk the streets and listen freely to our beats a world where people get praise for their achievements,
not reminded of their defeats
a world where politics and economics are the last thing on the news and celebration of life becomes what all the viewers view
See I guess the way I grew up has given me ammunition to want me to create a better world for us to live in
when I close my eyes I see this, I want it to give hope to ya’ forgive me if you think it’s an impossible utopia
"Harry" , Youth Off the Street & UN LTD
Right from the start Harry’s mum did everything wrong by him. She drank heavily and took large amounts of drugs … whatever she could get her hands on.
Tragically she didn’t stop when she was pregnant and as a result, Harry was born with a chronic medical condition. He has severe learning difficulties and just can’t keep up with kids his own age.
Harry never got a fair go…
As a baby he was removed from his mum and sent to live with his dad. But his dad had financial and drug issues, so Harry was left without……without decent food… without clothes that fit him properly… and sadly, without the medical attention and therapy he desperately needed.
In September 2014, Harry’s dad had simply had enough. He packed Harry’s few belongings, loaded them into his car, and drove Harry to our homeless refuge. Harry has been with us ever since. Harry needs specialised support to stand any chance of overcoming his traumatic childhood.
How UN LTD helped Youth off the Streets
Most recently UN LTD has providing corporate mentoring support and extensive volunteering and fundraising support. One of the key programs that assisted was the creation of an innovative awareness campaign called Lace it up. Leveraging the reality that homeless young people sleep with their shoes on.Several celebrities and personalities have already backed the campaign. The cast of Home & Away, winner of The Voice 2014 Anja Nissen, Aussie boxing great Jeff Fenech, radio presenter Maz Compton, Sydney Swan Luke Parker and a bounty of bloggers and vloggers have all contributed to the campaign across their social channels.
The laces have also made their way into parliament with Minister for Health & Medical Research Jillian Skinner, Minister for Family and Community Services Gabrielle Upton, Member for Blue Mountains Roza Sage and others getting creative with their #laceitup laces during Question Time.
"Danielle", Be Centre & UN LTD
Danielle has small close knit family and she enjoyed a really close relationship with her parents and was especially proud of her father when he donned his military uniform. After returning from front line duty, her father was plagued by the trauma of war and returned a changed man who inflicted his pain and frustration onto his family.
Danielle struggled to cope with these dramatic changes in her father and family situations.
Thanks to the Be Centre, Danielle received the support she needed through weekly one to one play therapy sessions which helped her make sense of what was happening in her life and explore and express her feelings. During Therapy she regained her self-confidence and a sense of control in her relationships and is now able to regulate her anger and anxiety and is doing really well at school.
How UN LTD helped Be Centre
In 2014 UN LTD provides cash funding to enable 25 young people to be part of the scholarship program, mentoring support to help build profile through improved digital assets and connected companies and individuals to support their fundraising and volunteering needs.
"Dom", Batyr & UN LTD
Dom was 16 when he had his first anxiety attack. He describes it as a time where engaging in the most basic activities could bring him to tears. Life as a young high school student was tough, and despite having the world at his feet he struggled to see how he could possibly get through this dark period. After seeing a psychologist he learnt some vital skills to get him through school and off to uni.
However, new challenges surfaced while Dom was at uni and despite the fact those closest to him thought he was doing fine, he knew that was far from the truth. Dom sought help again and after finding a psychologist that was right for him, he eventually took control of his life. In 2011, Dom became a Batyr speaker, where he learnt how to share his story with others in the hope of being able to help a friend or a family member if they ever needed it.. Despite having very little public speaking experience previous to his work with Batyr, Dom has now gone on to speak to over 2500 young people through Batyr@School programs.
How UN LTD has helped Batyr
UN LTD specifically supports the Batyr@school program that connects young speakers who have lived a social or mental health issue with secondary and tertiary students through sharing their story. In 2014 Batyr aims to engage over 6,000 students across 20 schools through 40 programs.
"Telaine", Reach & UN LTD
I guess growing up my life wasn’t the usual life a person would live. My parents got separated, I lived with my grandparents which was pretty tough, and then I moved out of home at 14.
I was a bully in high school. I got expelled from seven different schools, and spent some time in a juvenile justice centre.
When I went along to my first Reach workshop at 17, I didn’t want to explore my emotions or anything like that – it’s just not what we talked about where I came from.
I know it sounds clichéd, but that first Reach workshop changed my life. It gave me a different perspective, and I got something out of it that I had never gotten out of life before.
I’ve always wanted to work with young people, and now working at Reach allows me to give back to something that gave so much to me.
Reach supports young people to get the most out of life. Reach aims to improve the wellbeing of young people so they can be healthy and resilient to meet life’s challenges.
"Anna", KidsXpress & UN LTD
“Anna” was a selective mute who had stopped talking outside of her immediate family since her father disappeared (presumed drowned) whilst swimming at a family picnic.
Anna presented at KidsXpress with eyes down and a dishevelled appearance. But upon entering the KidsXpressspace, therapists were astonished to be met with a big booming voice that sent therapists scurrying to check her referral details.
Within the space Anna felt safe enough speak. During her KidsXpress therapy journey, Anna became more animated and verbal and shared more information about her life.
In learning how to safely express and process her feelings, Anna was able to reclaim her voice.
KidsXpress’ aim is to transform the lives of children impacted by emotional trauma through leading expressive therapy.Its purpose is to enhance the emotional well-being of children, their families and their communities by managing & minimising the impact of emotional trauma.
"Yarrie", Sydney Story Factory & UN LTD
Yarrie is from Sierra Leone and lived in a refugee camp in Guinea before she arrived in Australia. She was one of the first students to enrol in the Sydney Story Factory’s Sunday program – the Free Writers’ Guild – and every week she wrote beautiful stories and poems. These helped her to make sense of her harrowing past and find hope.
In her own words: “l’m so blessed to have Sydney Story Factory in my life. I feel so lucky to have help from inspirational people. It has a great impact on my life and has changed me a lot, encouraging me to write. Having this workshop at Redfern is a great idea, it gives real meaning to multiculturalism; the door is open to everyone to come and feel at home.
This place I will forever remember.”
Below is an excerpt from the first poem Yarrie wrote at the Sydney Story Factory:
“Ripped from my homeland
like an unrooted tree
Transplanted to a new land
Here I took root.
The lingering sufferance
from my homeland
Severed limbs scattered
Like jagged, discarded branches
I stand on blood soaked earth
My feet caked in gore
Frantic with horror.
Running into the arms of
Scattering seeds from
The earth is cool and green
The waterlily shoot from the mud.
Aunty received me with open heart.
How UN LTD has helped Sydney Story Factory
In 2014 in addition to the cash funding provided to directly support the writing programs, UN LTD has matched the Sydney Story Factory with generous and talented mentors from within the industry who have delivered some remarkable outcomes.Media agency Bohemia went above and beyond its day-to-day remit, helping to create a series of powerful animations. The project, titled “Radio with Pictures”, saw Bohemians connect with individuals from right across the industry to help illustrate and produce more than 20 animations by young people from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds. They also arranged for a film-maker to document the young people’s creative process, and show the benefits of the program on their communication and collaboration skills, and self-confidence.
Sydney Story Factory co-founder Cath Keenan said the best part was seeing the kids’ response to their stories come to life, “Our programs give kids a creative outlet and develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings. The Radio with Pictures project has taken this a step further and enabled them to feel a huge sense of pride in their work. That feeling of confidence is priceless for these students and is such a motivator,” said Cath.
"Oscar", Primary Ethics & UN LTD
Oscar (11) has been going to ethics classes for the last two years. His mum has noticed a change in the way Oscar is approaching the world and issues in his life.
He is becoming more considered in what he does and what he says. He now has ‘old man conversations’ with the boy next door, asking him what he thinks about particular ethical issues and providing opinions, backed up with strong and valid reasons.
Oscar is also now much more considerate of people of different backgrounds and kids with different behaviours. A special needs child in the school who acted out his anger used to annoy Oscar. After doing the topic Beliefs, Opinions, Tolerance and Respect, Oscar was discussing things at dinner one night and said, “I never really thought about ‘Jason’ before. I just thought he was a naughty boy. Now I understand that I have to modify my behaviour to help him cope at school”.
How UN LTD has helped Primary Ethics:
Without the industry mentor relationships and pro-bono creative work delivered thanks to UN LTD’s network of contributors, Primary Ethics would not have had: its refreshed logo, a Community Service Announcement produced and broadcast on the Nine Network and regional stations, an extensive outdoor media campaign targeting the Greater Western Sydney area and an online advertising campaign. In the first year of the UN LTD/Primary Ethics partnership, all of this had been delivered, resulting in a doubling of volunteer Ethics Teachers in one year for our charity partner, and some incredible brand exposure for what is still a very young and rapidly growing not-for-profit organisation.
"Jaden", HeartKids Australia & UN LTD
Being born with a congenital heart defect has had a significant impact on my life in what I thought I could do, but with the support of HeartKids and being around other young people like me I realised what I can achieve out of my life.
At six days of age I was diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome and spent the first ten years of my life having several major open-heart surgeries and countless stays in hospital. At age 11, I then developed another heart complication. I didn’t like being different. I was a little girl who just wanted to be normal like the other kids in my class and wanted to do what everyone else was doing. I was always asking my parents, “Why aren’t I good at sport, why can’t I get my ears pierced?” (which I later got done anyway under the watchful eye of my Cardiologist). “Why can’t I do this, why can’t I do that?”. “Why me?” (that phrase was one I asked a million times).
I was never teased or bullied at school because of my “zipper” or my heart condition; in fact everyone was really good to me and never made me feel left out. I suppose having half a heart was kind of a cool thing to brag about, but not being able to compete in school sports or run around the oval always made me feel different, like I was missing out on something.
In 2010, at age 15 I went to my first ever HeartKids teen camp – and for the first time, I realised I was not alone. Since then I’ve stopped wanting to change who I am. I started believing in myself more and I have became much more aware of not only my limitations, but of how far I can push myself to succeed.
I am undeniably proud of who I am. I’m proud to be a Heartkid. I’m proud to share my story in the hopes with other Heartkids in hope that it might help someone else realise that they really can achieve everything they set out to do, despite being born with a congenital heart defect.
About HeartKids Australia:
Through camps, support, information and advocacy and driving world-class research, HeartKids Australia improves the lives and futures of those affected by childhood heart disease.