The Bowen Christian Family Centre has received a $20,000 donation from Bank of Queensland on behalf of their local Senior Customer Service Officer Helen Youse, who this week won the Bank’s Gold Managing Director’s Award for Community Involvement.
The annual Awards recognise outstanding contributions made by employees in their communities by donating funds to the organisations they work so hard to support.
Helena and her husband oversee a Friday night youth group at the Centre to help young people aged between 12 and 25 overcome problems like drugs, family issues and self harm and organise camps and out-of-town excursions for them.
Helena, who has been involved with the Centre for 12 years, said the funds would go towards a bus to help transport the young people.
“At the moment my friends and family taxi the 50 or so teenagers to the Youth Group each week, so a small bus would make the task so much easier.
“Being able to transport more young people at each time would also allow us to reach out and support more families in the community.
“Young people need to know that someone cares for them and hopefully what we’re achieving is keeping them from roaming the streets and getting into possible mischief such as alcohol and drugs.”
The Centre’s Senior Pastor, Peter Patterson, described Helena as “a great role model for young people in the community who works tirelessly to help disadvantaged and at risk youth in her community”.
“She is energetic and enthusiastic about this work and is having a positive impact on youth and young people,” Pastor Patterson said.
The Bank’s Managing Director, David Liddy, said he was extremely proud of the contributions that Helena and hundreds of other BOQ people perform in their local community every week.
“I want to encourage and reward staff who quietly dedicate their spare time and money to assisting not-for-profit organisations in their communities,” Mr Liddy said.
The Awards were presented at an exclusive dinner hosted by the Bank’s Managing Director David Liddy and local radio personality John Miller, who kindly donated his time to help judge the Awards.
Five Silver Awards of $5,000 were donated to:
- Special Air Services Resources Trust WA in Perth on behalf of Ann Edwards, Private Bank Western Australia, for her work over the past 12 years with the support group
- Maroochydore Hockey Club on behalf of Joanne Greensill, Lending Manager, BOQ Mooloolaba (Qld), who often racks up 87 hours a month during her 13 years service with them
- Foodbank WA on behalf of John Dodman, Regional Manager Commercial Lending who, through his connection with Rotary, helps Foodbank provide breakfast to hungry school children in over 200 state schools
- Sutherland Shire Early Support Service on behalf of Lauren Sargent, Owner-Manager of BOQ Miranda (NSW) who has been volunteering for two-and-a-half years with the support service, whose home visits support families in need with newborn and young children when no one else will
- Everyman's Welfare Service on behalf of Sheridan Reid, BOQ Lending Manager, for her work as Director for Everyman's which provides welfare services to members of the Australian Defence Forces and their families