Announcement posted by Coca-Cola 20 Nov 2023
Sydney, 20 NOVEMBER, 2023 - Bears of Hope, Bears of Hope, a not-for-profit bereavement support service, is set to significantly enhance its support for families in regional NSW, courtesy of a substantial grant from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation.
Bears of Hope was selected to receive the grant for its counselling services expansion, following a heartfelt nomination from Sean Reading, Senior National Business Manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners who has a personal connection with the charity.
Bears of Hope is among 38 charities receiving funding as part of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation's 2023 Employee Connected Grants program, sharing in more than $568,000. This year marks the largest pool of recipients for the Foundation.
Sean Reading said, "This grant isn't just a donation; it's a lifeline. The funding will extend the vital counselling services that Bears of Hope offers. Having personally benefited from their support, I can vouch for its transformative impact during the most challenging times."
Losing a child—whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infancy—is devastating and isolating. Organisations like Bears of Hope provide comprehensive, free-of-charge, support during challenging times.
The Bears of Hope support kit, including counselling access and a 'Bear of Hope', offers immediate solace and community. Each 'Bear of Hope' is donated by a family who has navigated a similar loss, serving as a heartfelt tribute to their own child and reinforcing a compassionate community.
With the financial support from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation, Bears of Hope is expanding its complimentary face-to-face Counselling Services beyond the Sydney metropolitan area, reaching out to regional and rural communities across Australia. This initiative aims to assist an additional 100 families, helping to bridge the gap of isolation and facilitating a healthy grieving journey following their loss.
"The support from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation is instrumental in aiding us to reach more families, offering a comforting hand through our Face-to-Face Counselling Services during their time of profound grief," said Toni Watson, Co-founder of Bears of Hope.
The Grief Counselling Programme specifically targets the scarcity of such services in regional and rural areas, a pressing issue that has long needed addressing.
Malcolm Hudson, Chair of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation, said: "Every day, dedicated individuals show up with passion and ambition to make a difference, so it's a privilege for the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation to support charities that resonate deeply with the Coca-Cola workforce through our Employee Connected Grants program."
The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation is committed to supporting charitable initiatives that brighten Australia's future. The 2023 grants will fund a diverse array of programs, from disaster preparedness to citizen science projects.
"The initiatives funded by these grants reflect the diverse needs of our communities. Through collective effort, we aim to make a lasting impact, building a more resilient and sustainable future for all Australians." Mr Hudson said.
To learn more about the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation and its grants, visit: https://www.coca-cola.com/au/en/media-center/apply-for-a-coca-cola-australia-foundation-grant
To learn more about Bears of Hope, visit: https://www.bearsofhope.org.au/
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About the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation
The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation (CCAF) is at the heart of Coca-Cola's national community strategy in Australia. The fund is a joint initiative between Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and Coca-Cola Australia, created to do social good. Since its establishment in 2002, the CCAF has provided more than $19 million to hundreds of organisations[NW1] , with many young Australians positively impacted. The CCAF mission is to create possibilities for a brighter, more sustainable future for Australians today and for generations to come. The CCAF supports programs that align with this mission through its Flagship and Employee Connected grants programs.
About Bears of Hope
Bears of Hope is a leading support organisation for families experiencing the loss of their baby. With a compassionate and understanding team of grief counsellors, the charity offers a range of resources and services free of charge. They provide immediate support through their Bears of Hope support kits, which include access to counselling and a 'Bear of Hope' for comfort. Through parent-led grief wellness groups, Bears of Hope aims to create a safe space for bereaved parents to share their experiences and emotions, ensuring that no one must walk the difficult journey of loss alone.
[NW1]Sourced from CFA approved Warrior Women press release, substantiated via email from Lisa Rippon-Lee CCEP