Empowering children to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their goals is a special gift few people get the opportunity to give in their lifetime.
But those like our 12 Pyjama Angel of the Year winners of 2019 are afforded the opportunity to share in this gift each and every week.
This year our winners absolutely stopped us in our tracks with their commitment, love and ownership of their Pyjama Angel roles.
We’ve heard some remarkable stories about their time together, from learning to shave to riding a bike and everything in between.
In New South Wales, our winner Julian Bowker had entered the life of the young man he supports at a tumultuous time and despite having to put up with a lot, always “persevered with patience and compassion”.
“As A’s caseworker, I have had numerous conversations with Julian around supporting A in any way we can,” she the child’s case worker.
“Julian’s advocacy and determination is second to none and is of great benefit for not just A, but for everyone involved.”
Back in Queensland, we had the opportunity of honouring another special Pyjama Angel who has been part of our family for more than 11 years.
Brisbane’s Karen Cutlack was placed in a home back in 2008 where she remained throughout many years, supporting more than 40 children in this time.
The foster carer she has supported throughout this time said every child she came in contact with, “loved her, trusted her and respected her”.
“Karen knew all of the kids well, their strengths, weaknesses, everything.” She said.
“I don’t know how she does it. She knew how to treat them all individually but also altogether too. She has a magic gift.”
The Pyjama Foundation Founder and CEO Bronwyn Sheehan said knowing people like Karen and Julian were ready and waiting to make a difference in the life of a child in care was one of the reasons she founded the Foundation 15-years-ago.
“People like Karen make me all the more committed to continue this vital work and reach the thousands of children in care we are yet to support,” she said.
Ms Sheehan said the Foundation is always looking for new volunteers to come on board. There are so many children to help support, all desperately awaiting their arrival.
“We love welcoming new volunteers, however if you would like to support but don’t have time to visit each week a donation is just as significant in ensuring the sustainability of our Program,” she said.
Congratulations to all those who were honoured at this years Pyjama Angel of the Year Awards. Including: Sandra McNally of Toowoomba, Gillian Vaughan-Jones and Jean Shaw of the Gold Coast, Ann-Maree Paynter of Ipswich, Lisa Crompton of Gladstone, Moya Mullins of the Sunshine Coast, Robert Shaw of Mackay, Natasha Jones of Logan, Alisa Patterson of Cairns, Phil Wilson or Melbourne and Lesley and Bev of Townsville.