The Australian Friendship Circle offers a refreshing holistic "whole family" approach when tailoring services and programs and new initiatives.
Our programming includes initiatives for each member of the family: The family member with special needs, their parents and siblings.
Our programs include: School Holiday Day Camps, Sunday Circle morning respite, Home Visitation program, Buddy Programs, Wow Events, Weekend Retreats, Sibling events, Mums night out, Evening events, and Family days.
School Holiday Day Camps
Our day camps are set at times when parents and children alike need them most, school holiday, offering much needed respite to the parents and a fun filled week of activities and excursions for the kids. in a nurturing caring way facilitated by our professional trained staff and staffing.
Camp is a great opportunity where remarkable bonds are forged between the children with special needs and their dedicated volunteer(s). These bonds are typically carried through to our programs during the year.
Sunday Circle Respite
Sunday Circle offers 2 hrs of fun-filled activities and excursions. Children with special needs are met with a dedicated volunteer, where activities including music, arts and crafts, movement, bowling and Puppet making, pottery and other creative art sessions are just the beginning. Sunday Circle allows parents the peace of mind to enjoy a much needed repsite knowing that their child is being nurtured and cared for by qualified professional and one on one volunteer.
Friends@Home: Home Visitation Program
This weekly program has teenage volunteers spending quality time with children with special needs in the environment the kids are most comfortable and familiar with: their own homes.
A unique bond is established between the volunteers and their friends. The range of activities shared can be anything from baking to arts & crafts, story-time to hide-and-seek. Parents speak glowingly of how the children look forward to these visits; and how they excitedly sit at the window in anticipation of their buddies showing up at the doorstep.
Every now and again we all want to feel special. At our "WOW" Events children with special needs get a true "WOW" feeling as they socialize in a nurtured environment enjoying some incredible trips and performances. Recent "WOW" Events have included viewing internationally acclaimed performances, including: The Lion King, Fiddler on the Roof, Matilda, along with our "Full day trips" trips to some of Victoria's most exciting attractions, including Ballarat's Sovereign Hill, Phillip Islands Penguin March and Melbourne's famous zoo, just to mention a few.
Siblings Square- Sibling program
For families living with a member with special needs, its easy to understand how their siblings may feel left out, whilst a lot of the family attention and energy is spent attending to the child that requires the most attention, namely the one with special needs.
To alleviate this feeling and in order to offer some extra care and nurture to siblings of families with children with special needs Friendship Circle hosts sibling events through our Sibs Club, where the siblings meet their own personal volunteer in a group setting, socializing and enjoying fun-filled activities.
In line with our mission to offer families living with a child with special needs a refreshing holistic "whole family" family approach, Friendship Circle offers periodic "family days" full of fun and entertainment where parents and siblings alike, join in with their child with special needs being entertained by touring shows and exhibitions and where all can display their creative side at our arts and craft stalls.