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Headspace ball moves a step closer

Heritage Bank Headspace
Heritage Bank's area branch manager Craig Jones, headspace Bundaberg community and youth engagement officer Cristal Simmonds, headspace Bundaberg centre manager Dean Hyland and Heritage Bank Bundaberg branch manager Gina Waga mark the handover of $3000 to Headspace.

Headspace Bundaberg’s efforts to enhance inclusivity by hosting a ball for its LGBTQIA-plus clients received a welcome boost from Heritage Bank.

Headspace Bundaberg was this week announced as one of eight recipients in Queensland to benefit from $65,000 in grants allocated with money raised at the 2020 Heritage Bank Charity Golf Day.

Headspace Bundaberg centre manager Dean Hyland said the $3000 grant the organisation received would enable it to host the Bright Ball, a planned event designed to promote a feeling of inclusion among people in the Bundaberg Region’s LGBTQIA-plus community.

“We’re lucky that we’ve got a great committee of young people that really drive headspace in Bundaberg,” Dean said.

“One of the sub-committees is called the Bright Ball, and that’s the LGBTIQ-plus community and they’re planning to have a ball partway through the year, giving them the opportunity to be themselves in a public venue.

“They’re looking forward to it and Cristal Simmonds (Headspace community and youth engagement officer) has been a driving force behind this and a great support for the young people.”

Gina Waga, Heritage Bank Bundaberg branch manager, said the Heritage Bank Charity Golf Day had been ongoing for 23 years and had raised more than $930,000 for community groups across south-east Queensland in that time.

“Hopefully, we are heading for the $1 million this year, we’ll see if can cross that,” Gina said.

“It was exciting to be able to help headspace, it means a great deal to us at Heritage.

“My focus since taking on management last year is to get out in the community and do more to help local groups like headspace.

“The bank’s slogan is ‘People first’ and this aligns with what Headspace are doing for the youth of Bundaberg.”

Headspace is a national organisation providing mental health support to Australians aged 12-25 years old at crucial timed in their lives, with a focus on early intervention.

Dean said the organisation also helped young Bundaberg residents in other ways.

“Primarily we help with low to moderate mental health issues, but also with sexual health, physical health, and drug and alcohol support – often just lending an ear for young people,” he said.

Dean was delighted that the Bright Ball had moved a step closer to being realised.

“This is fantastic, I’m blown away by the support,” Dean said.

“Gina has been absolutely fantastic – a local wanting to provide some support for another local organisation.”