Variety Freya Fund

The Variety Freya Fund is the legacy of Freya Williamson. The Williamson family, who loved and cared for Freya for 21 years have been inspired by their own lived experiences, to provide assistance for families who have children with severe disabilities.

With the Williamson family and Variety – the Children’s Charity Tasmania, you can now nominate the family of a child with additional needs or severe disability living in Tasmania for a gift of $500.

The Fund is designed to be as flexible as possible to help relieve individual families at a time of need or financial distress and when experiencing additional emotional and physical challenges, while respecting and upholding the dignity of those families.

If you are a health or education professional who has a direct and intimate knowledge of the family’s situation, you can nominate them for this gift today. Applications are open all year round.

There has never been more pressing time for our community to come together!

We have been working in the background to launch the Variety Freya Fund in July 2020, but during a global pandemic the Williamson family couldn’t stand on the sideline and watch more Tasmanian children with severe disability miss out. The launch of the Variety Freya Fund signifies a compassionate and understanding response to the added challenges children with severe disability find themselves in, because their parents and carers can’t earn adequate living to support their additional needs.

Variety Tasmania gratefully acknowledge the Williamson family’s commitment to achieving our mission of supporting children who fall through the gaps.

The Variety Freya Fund is indebted to the generous gift from Tascare Society for Children, the Williamson’s family and friends and the ongoing fundraising activities by Year 12 at Fahan School.

Eligibility and Nominations

  • Recipient must be the family or a carer of a child under 18 years old with severe disabilities or additional needs
  • The nominated family must reside in Tasmania.
  • Nominations must be made by a Health or Education Professional, or other professional with awareness of the family’s circumstances (such as support or case workers). Families cannot nominate themselves
  • Special consideration will be given to families who have their source of income severely impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Variety Tasmania has the right to contact nominated families as part of the grant assessment process to determine eligibility.
  • Applications are open all year round.
  • The Variety Freya Fund Grant is capped at $500 per nomination.
  • This is a one-off cash relief payment and made directly to the nominated family only.

Supporting families in need

The Variety Freya Fund helps to support and connect the whole family, helping to change lives by giving a relief gift at a time of intense need. Previous recipients of the Variety Freya Fund have included a family of four, where both children had additional needs. The grant allowed the family to purchase two bicycles, allowing for fun family outings, and a family dinner out. The mum wrote to say “Thank you so much for the money to do some very special activities with our children. We were very overwhelmed by this, but also so thankful, as they are the things we wouldn’t have been able to do without your support. From the bottom of our hearts. Thank you”.

The fund has also assisted an adolescent to find interests and hobbies away from his family, allowing him to gain independence. It has facilitated a single mother and her son to gain access to transport to an early learning support centre, reducing their social isolation and it enabled a family to buy an enclosed mattress so that their son, with high behaviour support needs, had something to sleep on.

The story behind the logo

The beautiful Variety Freya Fund logo has been lovingly designed by Freya’s sister Mia. For Freya’s family, the butterfly became a symbol of her. Like the butterfly, Freya fluttered her eyelids delicately when she was spoken to and the two butterflies symbolise the two sisters, Freya and Mia, together. The colours chosen have significant meaning for the Williamson family –  Freya often wore soft purples and lavenders and the family chose lavender as a calming scent for Freya. Freya’s hair was a soft goldeny copper colour –  strongly associated with the colours on the monarch butterfly. The butterflies have another, deep significance – since her death, the family have frequently see monarch butterflies at their special locations.