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For many years, Complete Parts and Equipment Solutions have been proud supporters of the @ The Coalface monthly Community Gift. But you might not know that they have also been running their own charity in the Singleton community for nearly three years.

Felicity and Sean Dyson started their earthmoving and mining equipment business, Complete Parts, in Singleton in 2011, buying, selling, and dismantling equipment to sell to mining and civil industries across the country.

Always proudly supporting their local community, Felicity and Sean set up the ‘Dyson Family Foundation’ in 2021.

“It was something that Sean and I always wanted to do. We’ve always wanted to try and help the community in any way that we can since starting our business in Singleton,” said Felicity.

The first initiative of the Dyson Family Foundation was ‘Backpack Pals’, food packs that are provided to families through local schools who are experiencing financial difficulties. The packs are targeted for families to aid across the weekend, which is an area Felicity found was lacking in the local community.

“We deliver the packs via the schools. Teachers and staff liaise with the families in their school community that they think need that extra support and then I put together a number of packs to deliver to the school each week and they’re distributed with no personal details given to me at all.

“We wanted it to be a completely anonymous service.

“I understand that sometimes admitting help can be difficult so we wanted to alleviate that stress on families by giving them an avenue where 9 times out of 10 that need of a child is known or becomes apparent to a teacher or a school representative so the family can be offered these packs or they can request them, and the information goes no further.

“They can pick and choose to take the packs or not, there is no commitment to the service.”

The backpack is a brown paper bag that contains a pre-packed provision of food that is enough for two breakfasts, two lunches (that could also be used for dinner) and two snacks.

“It gives provision for a Friday and a Saturday or what I also try and do is put things in there that for a very low cost could be made into more of a meal.

“I tried to keep the packs quite simple and plain so as to not draw attention to the children or families who take them,” said Felicity.

In 2023, the Dyson Family Foundation packed and delivered 110 packs on average each week throughout the school term to schools in Singleton.

ATCF 21 Backpack 2

Complete Parts provides 95 per cent of the funding for Backpack Pals and last year the Foundation was the happy recipient of grant funding through Glencore and Peabody’s United Wambo Joint Venture Smarty Grants program.

The grant funding provided the Dyson Family Foundation with $5000 towards the Backpack Pals for families in need in the local government area.

“We are going to apply again for this year’s grant program and hopefully get more funding so we can plan for some future initiatives that we’d like to roll out,” said Felicity.

“In my mind the sky is the limit!

“I do have another initiative I’d like to roll out which I’m putting a bit of research into now. It’s called a ‘Backpack Tutor’. The main goal is inclusivity, so it would be providing support through tutoring services or covering the cost of excursions, new uniforms, school supplies, that sort of thing. It’s about giving as much opportunity to kids as we can.”

For now, Felicity is focusing on helping families in Singleton, packing the brown bags herself all week, but one day she would love to expand the Backpack program statewide and maybe even nationwide to help families who are struggling.

“Helping other people has always been something that brings me a lot of joy so just knowing that you can be just a very small drop in the ocean of community services that exist for families, it is really rewarding.

“Just knowing that I can provide a tiny bit of support is what drives me.”

Felicity is also a mother of two children, a 4 year old boy and a 7 year old girl, and she strongly believes that children are our future and they need to be nurtured.

If you are interested in receiving one of the packs you can contact your child’s school or the Dyson Family Foundation directly. All the details are here: https://dysonfamilyfoundation.com.au/ You can also donate to the Foundation through the same website.

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