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A Ray of Sunshine: Launch of Innovative Program for Children

Jennifer Leslie (Chair, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation), Marcia Chapman (Jenny’s Place Executive Manager), Saskia Behan (University of Newcastle supervising psychologist), Tim Crakanthorp (State Member for Newcastle).

Tuesday, April 11, sees the launch of the Sunshine Hut, an innovative pilot program delivering early intervention for children who have experienced domestic and family violence, aided by a grant of more than $127,000 from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.


Jenny’s Place crisis accommodation residents will have access to the Sunshine Hut program, where they will receive treatment from provisional psychologists and postgraduate students, under the guidance of an experienced clinical supervisor.

Jennifer Leslie, Chair of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, said the program aims to improve outcomes for children who have experienced domestic and family violence.

“This grant will support the operation of the Sunshine Hut clinic, helping over 50 children receive expert help to recover more quickly from trauma and build resilience,” said Ms Leslie.

“It’s early days for the Sunshine Hut, but already there are 12 families engaged in the program, and all current casework staff are booked in for training in June. Jenny’s Place will then be able to assess this innovative pilot and ensure it can be rolled out more broadly.”

Marcia Chapman, Jenny’s Place Executive Manager, said the grant from the Charitable Foundation would help the Sunshine Hut ensure children who have experienced domestic and family violence have improved family relationships.

“The effect of domestic and family violence on children is profound and that trauma can impact every aspect of their lives. Children are unable to articulate their feelings and can act out, have low self-esteem, have trouble concentrating and can struggle to build trusting relationships. This can impact their lives into adulthood and also lead to mental health issues including anxiety and depression, and drug and alcohol abuse,” said Ms Chapman.

“Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s grant will enable us to develop a trauma-informed, best-practice program that helps to improve the parent-child relationship and foster healing for these families, which can be implemented across other services in the community.

“We are extremely grateful to the Charitable Foundation for this incredible opportunity.”

About Jenny’s Place

Jenny’s Place provides direct relief and support to women and children who are experiencing domestic violence and/or homelessness (or are at risk of homelessness). Their passionate team is committed to keeping women and children in our community safe, housed and free from violence.

About Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes over $1 million in grants each year to facilitate charitable projects aimed at improving the health and social wellbeing of vulnerable people in regional New South Wales. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $25 million to 547 community initiatives.

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