Let’s Go to the Circus!

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Early Links Inclusion Support Service has received the BHP Benefiting My Community Grant and is using it to change the lives of children in the Hunter.

A sunlit day on July 17 saw dozens of kids from all over the Upper Hunter smiling ear to ear as they enjoyed Circus Avalon and learnt some amazing new skills.

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The Early Links Inclusion Support Service put on quite the show for the kids of their program, supporting children and young people with developmental delay, disability or those at risk of developing a developmental delay.

Four percent of Australian children will have a diagnosed disability or developmental delay and early intervention has proven to be the key to long term benefits for kids, their families and the community.

The service has been around since 1988 supporting families throughout the Hunter Valley and recent funding from BHP and the Muswellbrook Council has seen them move from strength to strength as they give their kids the opportunity to participate in the community. 

Everyone, from the kids to their parents, enjoyed the circus as they learnt how to unicycle, balance and hula-hoop whilst enjoying a range of tricks performed by circus extraordinaire.

Through the BHP grant, Early Links has been able to fund a school holiday program for young people with disability and their families. Last holidays the kids attended SailAbility in Sydney. Diversional Therapist for Early Links Felicity Smith said, “the experience was life changing for some of them.”

These holidays, families have had the opportunity to go ice skating, attend a fishing trip, learn dancing at the Scone Nursing Home, learn craft at Bunnings and not to forget the Circus Avalon coming to town.

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“While other businesses have also made a huge contribution to our program, the funding from BHP has been vital for the realisation of these activities,” said Felicity. 

“These types of social inclusion programs are not funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme and we thank BHP for creating this wonderful opportunity for our families,” Felicity added.

The program has ensured that kids from the Upper Hunter region have been able to participate and feel included in the community and learn some great new skills along the way. 

For more information about the program visit www.earlylinks.org.au

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