One Huge Thank You!

Stewart House sends heartfelt thanks to the staff of the NSW Department of Education

A message from Stewart House CEO, Graeme PhilpottsAugust 2020

We join with all public schools, indeed most of society, in suffering the intangible effects of this crisis. Most charities have not been immune from the after-effects of a shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inability to hold fundraising events has caused dramatic reductions in revenue streams that, in reality, will bring about the permanent closure of many charities before this is all over.

Stewart House is proud to be NSW Department of Education’s Charity of Choice, and this is the first time in our 90-year history that our doors have been closed through public necessity. We have planned for the safe return of students and look forward to a time soon when schools are once more able to plan school camps and go on excursions.

Throughout this time, our Board of Directors made the conscious decision to retain all 33 full-time staff – many of whom have been with us for more than ten years. We value our team for their compassion, professionalism and engagement with the thousands of children they have assisted over the past decades.

Operationally, our fortnightly wage bills have remained as has the on-going running costs of our 1.4-hectare facility (leases, maintenance, utilities etc.). This has placed a considerable strain on Stewart House’s financial position with limited ability to source other fundraising revenue. The Federal Government’s JobKeeper program has been a welcome supplement. Still, more importantly, the generosity and support of school teachers and staff through fortnightly salary deduction has been paramount in allowing the charity to remain viable.

We owe a debt of thanks to the staff of the NSW Department of Education for their support. It is only with this valued financial assistance that Stewart House will get through these incredibly challenging times and, for that, we are most grateful.

On behalf of our Board and staff, please accept our sincere thanks in this short clip: