Compass appointed charity partner

Sunshine Coast young people living with a disability are set to benefit from a partnership with the region’s elite netball team, with Sunshine Coast Lightning this week appointing The Compass Institute Inc. as its season three charity partner.

Lightning CEO Danielle Smith said the Club was thrilled to support a charity that contributed so significantly to the local community.

“Compass really has set the benchmark in creating opportunities for people with intellectual and physical disabilities to learn valuable life skills and reach their full potential,” Ms Smith said.

“Our team was first introduced to the charity when one of our foundation players, Caitlin Bassett, began caring for a Compass Assistance Dog, Fensa.”

“Fensa became a regular visitor at Lightning HQ last year and this opened our eyes to the great work Compass does on the Sunshine Coast and beyond.”

“Since then, many of our staff members have been lucky enough to visit Compass Farm and see the incredible day programs in action, as well as learn about the social enterprise businesses providing real world experience to young people with disabilities.”

Ms Smith said the partnership would generate opportunities for the charity to fundraise and gain additional exposure.

“Community is one of our key focus areas at Lightning and we know we wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of Sunshine Coast residents, so it’s great to have the opportunity to give back where we can,” she said.

“We’re excited to be integrating with Compass on a number of levels including hosting a dedicated home game, facilitating fundraising opportunities and leveraging our business and community networks.

“Following successful partnerships with The Daniel Morcombe Foundation, headspace Maroochydore, White Ribbon and Confident Girls in our second season, we can’t wait to shine the spotlight on this terrific enterprise in 2019.”

The Compass Institute CEO David Dangerfield welcomed the alliance and said it was great to have such positive role models involved with the charity.

“We’ve got a number of keen Lightning supporters among our ranks, including one trainee who’s very active in the Sunshine Coast Lightning Fan Club, so it’s safe to say there’s quite a buzz around the farm at present,” Mr Dangerfield said.

“Compass has grown exponentially since our day program commenced in 2003, and it will be great to showcase what we do to a broader audience through the new partnership. Not all locals know we house a café, nursery and creative hub out at our premises at Hunchy, as well as provide employment and vocational opportunities to more than 145 young people with a disability.

“Our trainees have the chance to partake in cooking, painting, sculpture, mosaics, photography and woodworking, and we offer animal therapy and facilitate lifestyle programs that assist young people to become integrated into their community.”

The Compass Institute has centres in Hunchy, Palmwoods, Caloundra, Gympie and Caboolture. The 20-acre farm at Hunchy includes a woodworking workshop, kitchen, café, gardens and a nursery.

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