Financial literacy is a key factor in creating financial and personal wellbeing, it’s critical to our quality of life. Through our financial counselling service we work with individuals and families who are experiencing financial hardship to help them manage and break the cycle of debt and take control of their finances. Our counsellors support them in times of crisis and will also advocate or negotiate on their behalf with creditors, government agencies and others.
Strengthening the lives of young people leaving foster care
The journey from childhood to adulthood and independence is a challenging transition for anyone but even more so for young adults leaving foster care.
In 2017/18 Property Industry Foundation (PIF) and Lendlease gifted $800,000 to renovate two Wesley Mission properties in North-Western Sydney to provide safe accommodation for young people
aged 15 to 25 who are transitioning out of the foster care system.
Named ‘Wesley KickStart’, the two homes are now operational and currently house 12 young people who have left foster care, under the supervision of two house parents. Over the next few years we’ll increase the number of young people living in these homes up to 22.
Wesley KickStart forms part of the broader Wesley Take Charge of Your Life program, which assists young people leaving foster care to find a home and develop the necessary life skills to live independently. The young people living in the Wesley KickStart homes will also receive ongoing case management as they study, search for employment and develop life skills to work towards independent living.
PIF has committed a further $300,000 per year for four years to maintain the Wesley KickStart homes.
Mapping out meaningful careers for our clients
Here at Wesley Mission we walk alongside people to help them achieve their goals. The NSW Government offered us funding to run Career Pathways, a 12-month pilot program which offered our clients receiving housing assistance, a pathway to the workforce. We helped 109 people achieve their career goals throughout the pilot.
The success of the Career Pathways pilot paved the way for the launch of Opportunity Pathways in 2018/19. For 12 months, our clients who receive social housing assistance can access education, training and practical support to build confidence and independence in the workforce and ultimately achieve their housing and career goals.
They have access to coaching and mentoring, workshops, work experience placements, volunteer opportunities and work retention support.
We also offer practical and financial assistance for transport, childcare and other costs to support those on their journey to achieving their career goals.
Opportunity Pathways has 18 staff now operating in Illawarra Shoalhaven, Mid-North Coast and Hunter and Central Coast regions.
HIPU program teaches prison inmates financial literacy skills
We support people from all circumstances and walk alongside them through life challenges. In 2018/19, we partnered with Corrective Services NSW to deliver a financial literacy program to prison inmates at seven NSW correctional centres.
Named ‘High Intensity Program Units’ (HIPU), 15 Wesley Mission HIPU trainers ran ‘In Charge of My Money’ program, which helps people manage their money and avoid debt. Across 33 workshops and 69 training days, 381 inmates completed the acclaimed Wesley Mission financial literacy course.
By 2020 we expect to have 1,000 inmates trained through HIPU and we’re looking towards including parenting and other reintegration programs.
Securing families’ futures
In 2018/19, we helped more Australians acquire a Will through increasing our Wills Days to ten. The Wills were prepared by professional independent lawyers for a small service fee, which goes towards supporting the work of Wesley Mission. We’re grateful to the lawyers who willingly donate their time to prepare these Wills.