A heartfelt thanks to our corporate partners
A letter from Camp Quality CEO, Deborah Thomas
To our valued corporate partners,
As we reach the middle of the year, I hope, like many of you, that the second half will be a lot better than the first. If you are working on a financial year calendar, then this is an important time to reflect on the last four months within the 12-month cycle, and what we have been forced to learn, adjust and dramatically change. And, what we need to do to reset and adapt our businesses and strategies to ride the bumpy road ahead, post COVID.
Change is never easy for us humans, especially when it is so rapid. It’s extraordinary how Australians have adapted so quickly to radically different ways of living, working, schooling, socialising and shopping, to name but a few. What we have been a part of in a very short time, is a massive acceleration of the adoption and use of new technologies – almost three years of change in just three months. Even my 95-year-old mother is now on ZOOM.
At Camp Quality, we too have had to adapt our organisation to change, developing and updating our digital services and programs, as well as thinking differently about how best to engage with our kids and families, volunteers, supporters, partners and the broader community. Not only to ask for assistance with funding, but to make sure we remain connected to all stakeholders and give back to those who have so generously supported us over the years, particularly those who are doing it tough now. Essentially, how we can help those who have helped us?
However, before I talk any more about 2020, I would like to point you towards our new Integrated Report for 2019, which was released last week following our AGM. Although I wasn’t part of the Camp Quality family in 2019, I have enjoyed helping put this report together and learning more about our organisation and what we have achieved over the past 18 months; with a year on year review of our 2019 services and programs. I encourage you to have a read as we are very proud of the outstanding work done by our staff and volunteers to help our precious kids and families impacted by cancer. We also are delighted to acknowledge many of you, our loyal and generous partners, in the report by way of saying a HUGE public thank you.
There is no doubt that we face many challenges ahead and the number one priority for us is people. Managing people’s concerns and wellbeing is paramount during this time and I’m grateful Camp Quality has a unique culture, built on the pillars of positive psychology.
I am not sure how many of you are aware of our social enterprise, The Oranges Toolkit (TOTK) which offers positive psychology workshops to promote Optimism and Resilience, Attitude, Now (mindfulness), Gratitude, Energy and Strength. The workshops were developed to help our staff and volunteers cope with some of the everyday emotional challenges they experienced working with children diagnosed with cancer. The program has been adapted for the corporate sector and well received by commercial and government entities with 100% of the profits coming back to Camp Quality to help fund the organisation.
During the lockdown, TOTK developed a series of positive psychology webinars specifically to deal with the stress of isolation, change, uncertainty and other COVID-19 challenges. Embedding this program with our people has ensured we can provide wellbeing support and resistance-building strategies. Alongside this, we continue to ask our staff to participate in a weekly pulse check developed by Local Measure using simple emojis, and an option to comment. This effective tool gives our Executive Team the ability to not only gauge our staff sentiment from week to week but to promptly respond to any concerns raised through broader organisational / team communication or on a one-on-one basis. Having the option to communicate anonymously, this tool provides our people with a safe forum to share how they are feeling at a time when they need it most.
Looking ahead for Camp Quality, there is much to be excited about, especially with our Services & Programs Team planning to roll out our camps and Family Fun Days, nationally, from late September. Whilst numbers at each event may be limited, and we will of course adhere to the strictest safety and health guidelines, we are looking forward to doing what we do best: helping kids to be kids; helping families reconnect; and seeing many, many smiles again. Beginning term three, we have also started taking bookings for performances of our Primary School Education Program (with the Camp Quality puppets) as well. Kylie, Dean and Mel (our puppets) cannot wait to get back to engaging with pupils, their teachers and parents face to face. They have been keeping extremely busy during lockdown reaching out via digital means through video content on Camp Quality’s Happiness Hub, which has been very well received.
I take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your ongoing support and for also taking the time to reach out and consider how you can support Camp Quality more than ever, whilst your own organisations and people work through sweeping change.
We are so grateful for your generosity and are standing by to help you, your people and company, in any way we can.
Stay safe and we look forward to meeting you face to face (within social distancing guidelines) soon, as we slowly emerge from lockdown.
Chief Executive Officer, Camp Quality