Bekki’s a real angel and has award to prove it
BEKKI McCormac is an angel. The devoted volunteer was named Gladstone's Pyjama Angel of the year on Saturday.
Maintaining trusting and valued relationships with people other than carers can be difficult for children in foster care.
Through the Pyjama Foundation, local angels are spreading joy in trying to change that.
Pyjama Angels visit their partnered child in foster care once a week to read to them and take part in other educational activities.
Ms McCormac was recognised for her relationship with her foster children, her dedication to the foundation and assisting in community events.
She said it was a humbling honour.
"A friend kept telling me that I had to go, so I did suspect something, but it was really nice," she said.
Ms McCormac has volunteered for the organisation for 12 months.
She said it was a way to meet people and to contribute to the community in a rewarding way.
"I like going and seeing the kids because they get excited, it's fun," she said.
"You read to them but then they want to play soccer or activities, it's just doing different things with them."
CEO and founder of the organisation Bronwyn Sheehan visited Gladstone to congratulate the winner.
"There's now close to 9000 children in foster care and we're reading to 1000 of them every week," she said.
"We're not a big organisation but we've certainly been inundated with volunteers and people wanting to contribute, so that's really heart-warming."
Ms Sheehan said it was important to recognise the work of the volunteers.
"It's great to see how enthusiastic the volunteers in Gladstone are," she said.
"There is always new interest and new people wanting to volunteer.
"Like anything in Gladstone, foster families are quite transient as well, but there is still a great need.
"There are almost 200 foster children here and it's great to support those foster carers who do a great job."
Ms McCormac encouraged more people to support local children in foster care.
"It's only one hour a week and anyone can do it, it's not a huge commitment.
"It can make a huge difference in their lives," Ms McCormac said.
For more information about the Pyjama Foundation and how to become a Pyjama Angel, phone Gladstone co-ordinator Lyn Hughes on 0433093482.
Gladstone's Pyjama Angels:
- 138 people in Gladstone have been trained to be a Pyjama Angel to date.
- There are currently 52 active angels involved in the program.
- There are 24 angels who are yet to be partnered with a child in foster care.