Meet a Pyjama Angel
Wherever you go, there are Pyjama Angels right throughout the community. Pyjama Angels can be anyone from teachers to lawyers from the ages of 18 to 80 helping to change the world one child at a time. All it takes is one hour a week to transform the life of a child in foster care.
Pam Gargett is our Volunteer of the Year in Mackay. With a background in Education, Pam has a doctorate in literacy.
“I was absolutely thrilled to receive this award. The privilege I now enjoy of seeing a child in her home environment and sharing my love of reading with her is one that I treasure. Thank you for making this possible.”
The young girl that is mentored by Pam, made a very passionate speech at the Award Dinner. The foster carer and child are very grateful to have Pam in their lives.
Lesleigh Kennedy is a very special support person in the life of her allocated child in Toowoomba. She has been visiting for over 3 years and now has been trained by the Department as his respite carer. Lesleigh has found that her efforts have helped to improve her foster child’s personal confidence, as well as his literacy skills. With a primary school teacher background, Lesleigh is a very valuable homework helper and has been assisting with speech therapy.
“I love being a Pyjama Angel because of the joy of seeing the little fellow I work with being successful in a full range of things. I really love the satisfaction of making a difference.”
Not only is Helen our Toowoomba Coordinator, she has been a Pyjama Angel in our program for the last 7 years, mentoring up to 6 foster children. At the Toowoomba Awards night the children wanted to acknowledge the wonderful commitment from Helen. A very emotional tribute, there was not a dry eye in the room.
“The first time I met Helen I was 4, and I was a bit scared but now I am not. Helen means a lot to me, well more than a lot. She is a remarkable person and I feel very lucky to have someone like her come out to teach me new things like making cool things and playing games. We even get to go on excursions with her, like museum and movies. Helen is my friend and I love talking to her, she is a good listener and when she goes on holidays she sends us post cards.” Sam 10 years.
Sydney Pyjama Angel of the Year Julie Turner. Pictured on the left, with another Pyjama Angel who visits in the same home
“Julie is a real Angel. She spends quality time with my foster daughter who has special needs. They read, play games, do craft, make up plays and chat away. Isabelle always has a great time. Her reading has improved significantly. Her teachers have noticed her increased love of reading and with that comes improved reading and writing. For me, it means that for 1 hour each week, I can sit down, enjoy a hot cup of tea and relax, knowing that a dedicated volunteer is having invaluable one to one time with Isabelle.”
Mandy Bergamin is our Volunteer of the Year on the Gold Coast. A volunteer for nearly 5 years, Mandy has been reading with the same little girl who now is in high school. With Mandy’s guidance and support, there was a noticeable improvement in her school work which even her teachers recognised and acknowledged. Mandy really helped boost Melanie’s confidence and self -esteem, which is helping her with her first year of high school. The foster carers are very grateful, Mandy now reads with the younger children. They are regularly getting ‘gold cards’ for their reading which is entirely the result of Mandy’s efforts with them.
Pyjama Angel of the Year, Emma
Emma, a career woman with a challenging full-time role, was matched with a boy in care who is now 8 years old, her foster carer believes she is a real angel. Emma is a very valued and significant person in his life. Her allocated child eagerly waits for Emma’s visits once a week and is very engaged in learning and reading. Emma has recently been celebrating the great news that her child has just received a full ‘years 4 – 12’ scholarship to a prestigious private school. He has been accepted on the basis of his attitude and willingness to learn. Emma has been instrumental in nurturing this love of learning. Truly a dedicated volunteer, who has inspired many of her work colleagues to also volunteer.