Viva Energy raises $120,000 for Very Special Kids

A $100M maintenance project involving over 1000 people at Viva Energy Geelong Refinery has raised $120,000 for Very Special Kids.

For every day there were zero safety incidents during the 60-day maintenance project, Viva Energy Australia made a minimum $2,000 donation to Very Special Kids to help local families who are caring for a child with a life-threatening condition.

The funds received from Viva Energy Australia will provide 15 families in the Geelong/Barwon region with a full 12 months of services from Very Special Kids. This includes 24 hour specialist nursing care at Very Special Kids hospice in Malvern and all year round support from a trained Family Support Practitioner based in Torquay.

One of these families is the McKiernan family from Corio who turned to Very Special Kids to help them care for their 14-year-old son Bryce who has kabuki syndrome and kidney disease. Because of his conditions, Bryce experiences epileptic seizures, has very low energy and is fed through a tube.

The level of care Bryce requires creates additional challenges for his parents Stacey and Darrin, as well as their other children Tori (20), Riley (18) and Hollie (12).

“Very Special Kids have been amazing” says Stacey, “the kids love going to the Family Days, but for me the most important support is from Peggy, our Family Support Practitioner. Having someone there who listens and cares is a massive help.”

The McKiernan family access a range of support services provided by Very Special Kids including include emotional support and guidance from a trained Family Support Practitioner (Peggy Hogan) as well as local programs and events to meet other families in a similar situation to share information and experiences.

Stacey says their family is very thankful for the funding from Viva Energy, “it keeps all of the things our family have enjoyed and utilised with Very Special Kids going. It means the support is going to continue to be there for us, it’s fantastic.”

Very Special Kids CEO Michael Wasley says, “By providing free of charge care for these children and families, Very Special Kids relies heavily on the support and generosity of the community. We are extremely thankful for the funding from Viva Energy to allow us to continue providing this vital support.”