October 5, 2017 by Variety - the Children's Charity

Shining on For Kids with Language Learning Difficulties

Variety Victoria and Melbourne-based charity SHINE have announced a strategic partnership to deliver the inaugural Variety SHINE Intensive Program (VSIP) in 2018.

Held at Port Phillip Specialist School – Port Melbourne under the directorship of Dr Carl Parsons, the January program has been running for 16 years. The multidisciplinary, evidence-based three-week long service provides intensive assessment, therapy and support for children aged 4-14 with Language Learning Disabilities (LLDs).

Since 1975 Variety’s establishment in Australia has worked to ensure that every child has the right to attain their full potential regardless of ability or background. Variety Victoria steps in to support children and families when no other resources are available.

Variety Victoria’s CEO, Janette Connolly, said the merger of Variety’s infrastructure and reach with SHINE’s unique program was a meeting of minds.

“Variety and SHINE have a great deal of crossover in terms our goals and objectives in supporting Victorian children,” Ms Connolly said.

“We knew when we came across that the work of SHINE and in particular the intensive holiday program that it was something with which we wanted to be involved and to support.”

SHINE has provided intensive opportunities for children with a range of disabilities to access high quality multidisciplinary team services at no cost to families for two decades. It also runs the largest clinical placement for postgraduate speech pathologists in Australia.

The charity prioritises students who are not funded by other federal or state programs, are under-funded or under-resourced, or who have known disabilities but have no services available to them.
SHINE’s Founder and Director, Andrew Fildes said it was an exciting new chapter in their journey.
“It has been an amazing ride after 20 years of building the foundation from scratch, from the early years in our family lounge room,” Mr Fildes said.

“We are proud of the work we have done and the services we’ve been able to build through the incredible philanthropic support in Victoria. This partnership with Variety is the next step for us to consolidate the summer intensive program and ensure its future. We are committed to working with Variety in the long term to deliver this and other programs to Victorian children.”

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