Wings Drop In Centre Wins Award
An award which recognises initiatives that enhance the lives and wellbeing of children and young people has been presented to Wilcannia’s WINGS Drop In Centre.
WINGS was one of just two recipients at this year’s NAPCAN Play Your Part awards which were announced at a special event in Sydney today (Friday 9th September) during National Child Protection Week.
The WINGS Drop In Centre is run by Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation and WINGS Coordinator, Natika Whyman, was in Sydney to accept the award.
Maari Ma Chief Executive Officer, Bob Davis, said the award recognises the important role WINGS plays in the lives of Wilcannia’s children and young people, and reflects the very good work of the staff.
“We have up to 40 kids from the ages of 5 to 15 going to WINGS every day during the school term and up to 90 a day in the holidays.
“WINGS is a haven, it’s a place where the kids can have fun, do activities, play sports, see a movie or dance at a disco. They describe it as being part of a big family.
“There’s transport to and from the Centre, they can get a healthy snack in the afternoon or there might be a Maari Ma dietitian conducting a cooking class. It provides learning, creativity, fitness and friendship for kids - all in a safe environment.
“The Centre has five local Indigenous workers, many of whom went to WINGS as kids themselves, including Natika. The Centre first opened in the early 90’s and in 1998, when it was under threat from closure, Maari Ma started running it, so it’s been around for a long time” he said.
Mr Davis said during the holidays other Maari Ma staff such as dieticians, mental health workers and early childhood workers help out at WINGS and services such as Save the Children's playgroup and the mobile youth van also visit the Centre.
“The environment is very collaborative and we are very appreciative of the assistance we receive from Save the Children and other service providers.
“Importantly I would like to thank Natika and her team who do such a great job of making sure the children and young people of Wilcannia have a nurturing and protective environment to go to after school and in the holidays.
“The 2016 NAPCAN campaign is ‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’. The campaign theme this year really does highlight what WINGS is all about” he said.
9 September 2016
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