Home' The Bunyip : November 19th 2014 Contents Page 22 "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, November 19, 2014
in the month of October
You won't get that
anywhere else. . .
REGULAR visits to Port Victoria, knee-
boarding on the Murray River, learning
how to milk a cow at a Barossa dairy farm
and helping out with woodwork projects
are just some of the activities that 10-year-
old Eddie has engaged in since beginning
his involvement with respite program,
Time for Kids.
The South Australian program has identified
and helped about 6500 children and teenag-
ers who may have ended up in troublesome
situations without the guidance and mentoring
offered by volunteer families.
Hewett parents David and Veronica
Parker volunteered their time to the
program so they could work with local youth.
The pair went through extensive testing to
ensure they were able to help and match their
personality with a child.
Accordingly, since 2012, their family has
been blended with Eddie's, offering him respite
from his home life for at least one weekend a
Eddie comes from a six-child family, where his
mum and dad are separated, but Mrs Parker
said the parents are very grateful for their help.
"With Time for Kids, it is a voluntary pro-
gram where families nominate themselves to
offer time to help kids," Mrs Parker said.
"The organisation said Eddie hadn't had a
lot of outdoors experience, but that he was
pretty keen on camping and woodwork, so he
was paired with us.
"Our commitment to the program is to have
Eddie for a weekend a month, but we have
him about every three weeks now depending
on what we are doing."
Respite and development
The Parkers were drawn to Time for Kids
over fostering because it is an amicable
relationship between the volunteers and the
Meanwhile, Eddie said he gets excited about
his activity-filled weekends with the Parkers,
which have expanded his life experiences.
"We go up to the river, camping, fishing,
walking and bike-riding. I've even helped
David make the stakes for the garden and an
outdoor shower for the shack," Eddie said.
"When I first met David I asked if I could
do boys' things in the shed because dad doesn't
have much of a shed.
"I most enjoy being with the Parkers because
they are nice and we do fun activities and they
are my friends."
The primary school student has also learnt
about work ethic, basic life skills and the world
from the Parkers.
"Eddie has met lots of people from over-
seas since he has been involved in our family
because we host a lot of exchange students,
and with our children James and Bek going
overseas, so we often have a
map out to show him all of
the different places that he is
hearing these stories from,"
Mrs Parker said.
"Meeting us and doing the
various activities has opened
his world up to what is
around here and then he has
learnt that overseas element
"The first time he stayed
with us for a week, David
and we explained to him that
Bek was going to look after
him, but at first he couldn't
understand that I had to go
to work because work is an
unusual concept for him but
now he understands that we
work to put fuel in the boat and do all of these
Children, like Eddie, are either identified
by teachers and other guardians or are
nominated by parents who are having a hard
time devoting time to their children.
According to Mrs Parker, Time for Kids has
noticed that while girls are easy to place, boys
are a bit harder and, in particular, teenage
Therefore, she is encouraging people in their
20s to help out by taking a teenager out for
coffee and spending time with them that way
to take them away from home and give them
something to look forward to.
"It is good for Eddie to have a break and it
is good for his mum and dad -- it works both
ways," Mrs Parker said.
"The outdoor stuff, in particular, is great
because he doesn't get to do a lot of that at
home but, in saying that, people think that
with these programs you have to always keep
the kids busy and spend a lot of money, but
"We will just have relaxing weekends, stay-
ing at home and doing whatever."
Volunteer bene ts
The Parkers said they look forward to
having Eddie because their children
have grown up, so it gives them an opportu-
nity to do child-orientated activities.
"Just watching how Eddie has grown and his
development is very impressive," she said.
"I love sharing my world and Eddie has been
great with all of that.
"Eddie has been through a couple of school
suspensions so we have helped him work
through that; we give him guidance and tools
with bullying -- it is a very valuable program."
*The Bunyip chose not to identify Eddie's
surname and school, given the sensitivities of
Making time for kids
Eddie loves his activity- lled weekends with David and Veronica Parker as part of the Time for Kids
PHOTO: Kimberley Pratt
Lady Mary Downer PHOTO: Supplied
MEMORIES were stirred last
week as the Williamstown com-
munity reflected on the life of
the late Lady Mary Downer.
The Williamstown resident was
commemorated with a memorial
service as a much loved figure and
solid contributor to the town.
Her absence is felt by locals espe-
cially in the lead-up to Christmas,
where Lady Downer's involvement
in the community and fruit cake tra-
dition will be sadly missed.
"All us girls at the bakery fondly
remember her driving around with
her fruit cake in her boot for all of
us to have a stir," Kylie Allpike from
BakerST bakery said.
Lady Downer was a regular bakery
customer and was always friendly
and up for a chat.
Every year, Lady Downer would
invite staff members from local busi-
nesses to take part in stirring her
Christmas fruit cake.
Recalling the cherished tradition,
Mrs Allpike added, "that's some-
thing special I'll remember her by".
Lady Downer sadly passed away
aged 89 on October 14 while visit-
ing her son, High Commissioner
to the UK, Alexander Downer, in
According to Mrs Allpike, many
mourners visited BakerST last
Wednesday seeking directions to
Lady Downer's home, where a me-
morial service was held in her hon-
While many remember Lady
Mary for her work as patron of the
Mary Potter Foundation and Barossa
Valley Music Festival, Williamstown
locals will remember her Christmas
spirit and sense of community.
Eddie has met lots of
people from overseas since he has
been involved in our family because
we host a lot of exchange students,
and with our children James and
Bek going overseas, so we often
have a map out to show him all
of the different places that he is
hearing these stories from.
Gawler Celebrating 175 years
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