Telethon Community Cinemas screens outdoor movies from November to April each year and donates its profits to a range of children’s charities in Western Australia. We’ve supported Telethon Community Cinemas since 2010, and are proud of the role it plays in improving the lives of Western Australian children.
We caught up with local Telethon Community Cinemas beneficiary, Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA, to learn about its positive impact on the community.
Edmund Rice Camps for Kids aims to even the playing field and offer underprivileged kids, equal opportunities to grow and develop self-confidence and work towards goals, to achieve a better future for themselves.
Edmund Rice Camps for Kids in WA.
Most of the children who are referred to Edmund Rice Camps for Kids are considered to be ‘at risk’ or suffering from trauma. ERC offers a respite service for these children aged between seven and 16 years, through weekend and week-long camps.
Children receive one-to-one support from volunteers and participate in various team-building and confidence-building activities and games.
While these ‘camps’ are based in or near Perth, the team also runs a Community Program that stretches across regional WA.
Meg Huitema is the CEO of Edmund Rice Camps and has moved through multiple roles in her 20 years with the charity.
She says the ERC team strives to change children’s sense of self-worth, by ensuring they feel valued and heard.
“Edmund Rice Camps is very important in the local community. Many families are struggling to put food on the table and lots of kids with trauma need support. There are also a lot of children in foster care or living with a single parent or a parent with a disability or a mental illness. We’re trying to make them feel better about themselves so that they can contribute to the wider community,” Meg said.
Each year, 120 children are taken into the ERC program within the metropolitan area, but across WA they reach up to 500 children each year. Over 30 years that’s more than 15, 000 kids.
Working in partnership with Telethon Community Cinemas.
ERC has a partnership with the Telethon Community Cinemas and has been one of its beneficiaries for over 10 years.
“We’ve been a partner of Telethon Community Cinemas for nine years now, and we’ve been the beneficiaries of a million dollars so far. We’re just extremely lucky to be involved with Telethon Community Cinemas.”
A volunteer task force.
ERC relies on the enthusiasm and energy of volunteers to run their camps, from team activities to cooking and bus driving.
Their camp volunteers are between 17 to 25 years old and can train to become volunteer leaders and mentors.
Rachael Coltrona is a singer, dancer, and WAAPA graduate and loves sharing her time between her career as a performer and volunteering with Edmund Rice Camps for Kids.
In almost four years of volunteering with ERC, Rachael has enjoyed sharing her talents with the kids on camps by encouraging them to build confidence through dancing, singing, and the arts. She strives to make an impact in the kids’ lives, in return for the sense of gratitude and perspective, she realises through volunteering.
“On my first camp I actually sang some of the kids to sleep, and some of them told me they’d never been sung to sleep before and that just impacted me so much because my parents sang for us all the time.”, Rachael said.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more or volunteering, check out the Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA website.
For more information on Telethon Community Cinemas, locations, and screenings, or to join the volunteering team, head to www.communitycinemas.com.au.
Supporting the communities that support us.
Over ten years of supporting Telethon Community Cinemas
We’ve been a Telethon Community Cinemas partner since 2010. Learn about our partnership then pack a picnic and treat yourself to a night under the stars.
You can find a cinema at Bassendean, Burswood, Murdoch University, and ECU Joondalup Pines, between November and April each year.