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Posts tagged “Penrith

Queen of Hearts Foundation closure final

By Ellen Hill for Queen of Hearts Foundation

A proposal to continue Penrith-based child sexual abuse and domestic violence support service the Queen of Hearts Foundation under a revised business plan has been declined by the board.

The final decision was made “with heavy hearts’’ by the four-member board at a meeting on Tuesday [November 27].

It follows an approach to operate the charity service under a revised business plan with a new CEO after the notice to Queen of Hearts Foundation members in October of the board’s intention to wind up the charity.

Last month it was reported that the foundation established in 2014 had become increasingly financially unsustainable.

A planned restructure from a service orientated not-for-profit charity run almost entirely on community donations to a pre-funded program model with timeframes and monitored outcomes could not be successfully implemented by a board of volunteers, all of whom were small business owners in the Penrith community.

Despite the generosity of the Penrith community, the growing number of charity organisations in the area had broadened the giving pool, meaning less available funds for each worthy cause.

The proposed revised business plan was seriously considered by the board and discussions held with Penrith Council.

However, a board spokesperson said it relied on community funding and grant success as well as charging for counselling services.

“Whilst considerable effort would be required to continually fundraise to meet the financial obligations set forth in the proposals, a fee for service model is not in line with the stated mission of the Queen of Hearts Community Foundation.

“Unfortunately, given the parameters of the current economic climate, the inability to rely solely on fundraising and the generous donations from our community and the chance of being successful with any grant applications, the board did not feel that the proposed plan would ensure long-term success of the foundation.’’

The proposal was discussed at length at a November 15 meeting, which was adjourned until this past Tuesday [November 27] to allow further time for the proposal to be worked through.

“Given the experience of the board and the member in attendance, we did not believe it would be a viable long-term solution given the struggle it has been the past twelve months to fundraise funds.

“Should Queen of Hearts stay trading, we believe it would likely be in the same, if not worse, position than it is now in another twelve months’ time.

“On that basis, and with heavy hearts, the board resolved to place the Queen of Hearts Foundation into the hands of a liquidator to wind up.’’

Surplus funds will be donated to the national Bravehearts Foundation and unfulfilled grants will be returned to their respective government agencies.

The Queen of Hearts Foundation board encouraged the Penrith community to continue to support similar organisations such as the Bravehearts Foundation, The Haven Nepean Women’s Shelter and Penrith Women’s Health Centre.


Memorable send-off aboard Penrith river icon

(L-R) Nepean Valley Funerals owner Jim Mueller and Nepean Belle owner Chris Bennett have teamed up to offer Funerals on the Water

 

By Ellen Hill for Nepean Valley Funerals         Photos: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

A new business partnership between two Penrith mates has created an opportunity for local residents to celebrate the life of a loved one aboard the iconic Nepean Belle paddlewheeler.

Exclusive to Nepean Valley Funerals, the closed coffin funeral and wake package includes exclusive use of the Nepean Belle paddlewheeler, a non-denominational funeral service, coffin, flowers, celebrant, printed orders of service and condolence pack, with further additions such as a photographic tribute available.

After a memorable and respectful farewell ceremony, the coffin will be removed from the paddlewheeler and friends and family then continue to remember their loved one during a catered wake on a calming river cruise into the private nooks of the Nepean Gorge.

Nepean Valley Funerals owner Jim Mueller partnered with long-time mate and Nepean Belle owner Chris Bennett after the St Dominic’s College old boys sought to combine their love of Penrith, community, the Nepean River and their respective businesses in a joint venture.

Mr Mueller and wife Janet had identified the changing trends of funerals. Although traditional church/chapel funeral services will always remain important, some families now seek a non-denominational “celebration’’.

Incorporating the iconic paddlewheeler on the tranquil waters of the region’s most recognised geographic feature was the ideal solution, offering a unique weekday option for up to 150 guests with traditional customer service and values.

(L-R) Nepean Valley Funerls owner Jim Mueller and Nepean Belle owner aboard the paddlewheeler.

Everyone knows the river,’’ Mr Mueller said.It has so much meaning and holds so many memories to so many people with associations with the Nepean region.

“It might be a case of Dad always loved being on the water’ orMum always wanted to go on a cruise’.’’

While Mr Bennett worked on the Nepean Belle as a deckhand when it was first launched as a tourist attraction in 1982 and bought the business in 2013, Mr Mueller was “kind of born into the funeral business’’, cared for when his mother was at work by an aunt who worked at a local funeral business.

“There are few services that are as sensitive or as personal as those provided by a funeral director,’’ he said.

“We’re helping people through the worst possible time in their lives.

(L-R) Nepean Belle owners Chris and Carol Bennett with Nepean Valley Funeral owners Janet and Jim Mueller

“We aim to make this challenging time as bearable as possible, and our new funerals on the water option on the Nepean Belle will offer family and friends an opportunity to celebrate their loved one’s life at a personal, unforgettable event.’’

Like all services arranged by Nepean Valley Funerals, Mr and Mrs Mueller arrange and attend each one after liaising with all relevant parties including hospital, doctors, coroner, clergy, civil celebrants, cemeteries, newspapers, Births Deaths and Marriages, order of service and DVD providers.

“From the moment you contact us, we will be there for you,’’ he said.

All customer families receive a complimentary online memorial through Heaven Address.

Go to funeralsonthewater.com.au or phone 4722 8222 for more information about this unique celebration of life.

  • Nepean Valley Funerals and the Nepean Belle are commercial clients of Deep Hill Media

Penrith: Queen of Hearts Foundation to close

Penrith-based child sexual abuse and domestic violence support service Queen of Hearts Foundation will close.

The four-member board has distributed a proposal to its members to fold the organisation at its next meeting and anticipates majority support.

The decision was a difficult one for the board and took some time to reach. However, the Queen of Hearts Foundation has become increasingly financially unsustainable.

A planned restructure from a service orientated not-for-profit charity run almost entirely on community donations to a pre-funded program model with timeframes and monitored outcomes could not be successfully implemented by a board of volunteers, all of whom are small business owners in the Penrith community.

Despite the generosity of the Penrith community, the growing number of charity organisations in the area has broadened the giving pool, meaning less available funds for each worthy cause.

The board has been unable to fill the part-time volunteer CEO position vacated when Queen of Hearts Foundation founder Michelle Ellery resigned from the role in March. The major fundraiser, a charity ball in July, also failed to raise sufficient funds.

Surplus funds will be donated to the national Bravehearts Foundation and unfulfilled grants will be returned to their respective government agencies.

Queen of Hearts Foundation was established in 2014 by current Penrith Citizen of the Year Ms Ellery and operates from the old Penrith Council chambers building in Henry St.

A board spokesperson thanked Ms Ellery for her tireless efforts and passion in raising awareness for the needs of survivors of child sexual abuse and domestic violence: “Everyone involved in the Queen of Hearts Foundation is proud to have been part of such a high profile organisation and is disappointed to have to make this decision.

“However, we are realistic and know that a charity that struggles to keep its doors open week to week cannot provide the ongoing support and services our customers need.’’

The Queen of Hearts Foundation board encouraged the Penrith community to continue to support similar organisations such as the Bravehearts Foundation, The Haven Nepean Women’s Shelter and Penrith Women’s Health Centre.

  • Queen of Hearts Foundation is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Blue Mountains, Penrith: Job opportunities for nannies

By Ellen Hill for Faeriestorm Nanny Service        Photo: David Hill

An influx of families making the tree change to the Blue Mountains and Penrith areas has resulted in a spike in demand for professional nannies to care for children which in turn, has led to job opportunities in the sector.

Faeriestorm Nanny Service owner Brenda Edwards said: “We are seeing a lot of families moving to the area from Sydney for the lifestyle and more affordable housing which they love, but then parents have to make the daily commute to city offices and are away from home for long hours or, increasingly, need child-free quiet to work from home offices.’’

More than just a babysitting business, Faeriestorm Nanny Service did everything a favourite aunty or grandma would do with clients’ children, from educational play, personal care, supervision and transporting to activities and appointments to light household chores and meal preparation.

The aim of the whole-family approach was to help parents create time to foster healthy, positive relationships with their children.

“It can be tough juggling work and family life, so it’s our job to help alleviate that stress a wee bit by tidying the kitchen and preparing a basic meal or school lunches,’’ Mrs Edwards (Miss Brenda to her charges) said.

“Other tasks like stripping and making beds, dusting, ironing, folding clean washing, baking, gardening or window cleaning can be negotiated between individual families and nannies.

“I like to say we bring calm to the faeriestorms for our families.’’

Apart from requiring her team to wear branded uniforms on duty and have current qualifications, police and working with children checks, banning the use of phones, computers and social media, Mrs Edwards said the ideal Faeriestorm nanny and manny was respectful, discrete, unflappable and, above all, loved children and the ideal of family.

“It helps if you’ve run a home for the little things – you won’t step over the toys, you’ll ask the children to help pick them up or you will pick them up yourself; you’ll wipe the kitchen counter over; you’ll fold the washing. You won’t have to be asked to do those things.’’

The service was tailored to each family’s short or long-term needs and nannies were matched to families, Mrs Edwards said.

The mother-of-six became a nanny in 2009 and for two years worked six days a week, rarely seeing her own family before employing other nannies.

Today, Faeriestorm Nanny Service operates in private homes throughout the Penrith, Blue Mountains and Sydney region, can cater for children with special needs and has experience with children under welfare care and in high profile families where security is an issue.

Faeriestorm nannies also care for tourist children in hotels during holidays and at conferences and events such as weddings, functions and parties.

Contact Brenda Edwards on 0417 448 318 or at nanny@bluemountainsnanny.com.au for more details.

* Faeriestorm Nanny Service is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media


Faeriestorm Nanny Service makes family life easier

By Ellen Hill for Faeriestorm Nanny Service             Photos: David Hill

Race home from work. Pick the kids up from school. Feed them afternoon tea. Get the washing off the line. Supervise homework. Take one child to music lessons, another to soccer training and a third to a play date. Bath the baby. Prepare dinner.

What if a fairy godmother did all that for you and all you had to do was enjoy your children? In your dreams right?

Wrong.

Brenda Edwards and her team at Faeriestorm Nanny Service take the hard work out of your busy life so your family can spend more time focusing on, well, being a family.

Running a household, holding down a job and dedicating time to your kids is hard work,’’ Mrs Edwards (Miss Brenda’’ to her charges) says. “Sometimes it’s even impossible. But we can make it easier.’’

While the central focus of all Faeriestorm nannies is always the children in their care, “our second priority is to make your life a little less stressful’’.

Unlike a babysitter who only looks after the child, a nanny cares about the whole family.

Most nannies conduct light duties around the home such as laundry, meal preparation and tidying depending on their individual skills and the wishes and needs of the family.

The first role is to look after the children: their washing, their learning, their food, their play,’’ Mrs Edwards says.But it’s also about helping parents have uninterrupted bonding time with their children.

“One of my clients needs to have her two boys picked up from school, homework done and a little bit of dinner preparation so that when she comes home she can just enjoy quality time with her boys.

“I’m like an aunty or another grandma.’’

All Faeriestorm nannies have Certificate III in Childcare and first aid certificate qualifications, a working with children check and wear a uniform while working.

Most have children of their own and many have worked in childcare centres.

 

“It helps if you’ve run a home for the little things – you won’t step over the toys, you’ll ask the children to help pick them up or you will pick them up yourself; you’ll wipe the kitchen counter over; you’ll fold the washing. You won’t have to be asked to do those things.’’

While the service is tailored to each family’s short or long-term needs and nannies are matched to families, honesty, reliability and discretion are paramount in all cases, Mrs Edwards says.

The mother-of-six became a nanny in 2009 and, for two years, worked six days a week, rarely seeing her own family before employing other nannies.

Today, Faeriestorm Nanny Service operates in private homes throughout the Penrith, Blue Mountains and Sydney region with a team of nannies, and can cater for children with special needs.

Nannies are also available to care for individual children or groups when parents attend events such as weddings and parties and for travellers in hotels, especially while parents enjoy evening fine dining experiences or grown up activities such as adventure sports or ghost tours.

Contact Brenda Edwards on 0417 448 318 or at nanny@bluemountainsnanny.com.au for more information.

  • Faeriestorm Nanny Service is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media