It was during Xpandâs 2014 all colleagues conference last month that we were made aware of the tireless efforts and touching contributions of a charity named the Pyjama Foundation, via their Corporate Partnerships Manager Adrian Steer. Adrianâs moving description of the cause brought many an Xpander to tears, as he explained their dedication to educating and improving the lives of children in Foster care. So when we Xpanders saw the opportunity to show our support by attending the upcoming Pyjama Foundationâs, Worldâs biggest Pyjama Party at Luna Park on the 25th of September, we jumped at the chance!
Some Xpanders competing in one of Â the many team building challenges at the Xpand Conference in August 2014
Our introduction to Adrian and this exceptional cause occurred by means of a challenging/ hilarious team bonding activity at the recent Xpand Conference.Â This saw individual groups of Xpanders battle through a host of tasks, culminating in a race to assemble a childrenâs bicycle. We were all shocked and ecstatic when we discovered that these bicycles were to be going to some very worthy Forster children from the Pyjama Foundation. Two of which we actually got to meet and present them to! By all accounts it was an extraordinarily humbling experience knowing that we had brought a smile and some joy to the lives of these little ones, who as Adrian had explained, had never had anything new given to them in their lives.
The overall winners of the 'Xpand BIke Building Challenge'
The newly assembled bikes being tested for stability by the bicycle expert
Unfortunately the statistics for these youngsters are pretty bleak, as they show that there are currently 39,000 children in Foster care in Australia who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/ or neglect, meaning that they have often missed out on the care, education and positive experiences that they so deserve. Due to these factors, 92% of children in this group have below average reading skills by the time they are 7, making it extremely difficult for them to catch up.
It is for this very reason that the Pyjama foundation exists. Founded by the companyâs Director and Queensland Australian of the Year in 2009- Bronwyn Sheehan, they screen and train volunteers named Pyjama Angels that are matched with a Forster child, spending 15 hours a week reading aloud to them, playing educational games and helping them with their numeracy skills. The impact that this has on these children is profound, as is the bond that they develop with their Pyjama Angel, who not only educates but helps to bring a sense of belonging, confidence and hope for a brighter future that they may never have experienced before.
Little girl with her new bike
The evidence for the success of this foundation is plain to see, and itâs hard not to want to get involved when you when see such amazing work being done. So in a bid to raise funding to continue their good work, the Pyjama Foundation is hosting the Worldâs Biggest Pyjama Party at Luna Park, on Thursday 25th September and we have the whole Xpand Sydney team getting involved! (So stay tuned for the pics!)
The 'World's Biggest Pyjama Party' advert
The Pyjama Party will feature live entertainment, your favourite rides, face-painting and prizes throughout the evening- all for a great cause. All ages are welcome to attend!
And so after everything that we have seen and heard about the work of the Angels and this exceptional Foundation, we couldnât be more supportive and we encourage you to please get involved and do your part. Knowing that you have helped give hope and a chance for better future to these disadvantaged kids really is an incredible feeling and we truly can testify to that after seeing the smiling faces of the little ones we gave our bikes to! So hopefully weâll see you all there at Luna Park on Thursday, riding the rollercoaster in your craziest Pyjamas!
To purchase tickets for Worldâs Biggest Pyjama party go to http://www.lunaparksydney.com/pyjama-party-tickets Â or to learn more about this incredible charity go to http://www.thepyjamafoundation.com/Â To view the company brochure click here.