More StarJammers Out West!

Million Dollar Mission funding has been used by StarJam Auckland to develop their programme of music and performance workshops for young West Aucklanders with disabilities.

Up to one in five New Zealanders is living with a disability. For young people with disabilities and their families, StarJam provides essential opportunities to channel their creative energies as well as make new friends and simply have fun. Sadly, many disabled young people and their families are facing problems associated with inactivity, social isolation and a lack of recreational opportunities.

Funding of $7,505 from the Million Dollar Mission has been used by StarJam to support operational costs for two workshops based in Kelston. As a result of the funding, 24 ‘Jammers’, as the charity likes to call the young people, can continue to attend regular music-based recreation, community discos or performance-arts workshops. The sessions offer a very important lifeline and help these young people to achieve their potential and build their confidence. Perhaps most important of all, it means the Jammers can be themselves in a fun, accepting environment.

It’s certainly had a big impact on MinJee who is typical of many Jammers. Once a shy, nervous young girl, MinJee has transformed into a confident young person due in large measure to participating in StarJam. Her physical coordination, creative expression and social skills have all thrived since becoming a Jammer and she now has a supportive network of friends.

It’s a similar story with another long-time Jammer, Jesse. Since joining StarJam several years ago, Jesse has cemented his passion for music and dance. He even developed the confidence to take NCEA dance at school and successfully passed level 3.

StarJam really enjoyed being part of the Million Dollar Mission, particularly the online voting process. Fiona Gilbertson, Grants Writer explains: ‘The online voting system really got the community behind us. We posted a call to action on social media, requesting votes along with clear instructions on what to do.’

‘We asked our supporters to share the post on their pages and we posted weekly updates on the campaign to our Facebook page.’

‘We achieved our target with time to spare and were able to thank our community for their contribution to a successful campaign. It was a lot of fun,’ Fiona concludes.

Fiona offers this word of thanks to everyone who participated in the voting effort:

‘It gave people a unique insight into the work we are doing to champion the acceptance and celebration of people with disabilities in our communities.’

‘We would like to thank The Trusts and everyone that voted in Million Dollar Mission for their support.’

There’s no doubt that Star Jam is meeting a very important need in the community for young people with disabilities as well as their whānau. The Trusts through the Million Dollar Mission and the support of the voting public has been delighted to be able to help.