Thumbs up for Lifeskills

Cambridge Middle School entrepreneurs Kayley Smith (left) and Taryn Cockerton gave Lifeskills a donation and a big thumbs up.

Cambridge Lifeskills manager Sandy Wesford puts her hand over her heart in a gesture of genuine appreciation as she talks about a recent donation of $87.20 to her organisation.

The money came from two budding Cambridge Middle School businesswomen, Taryn Cockerton (12) and Kayley Smith (11), who spent last term learning entrepreneurial skills with their Room 12 classmates.

The students applied their newfound knowledge to a class gala, where their chocolate toss game raised the most money.

“And they decided that they wanted the money to go to Cambridge Lifeskills because they knew of people who had been helped by the service and they wanted to pay forward the money so that other kids might have the same opportunity,” Sandy said.

Celebrating its 25th birthday this year, Cambridge Lifeskills offers free counselling services to local children aged 5-15 and their families, and is funded entirely by grants and donations.

“I said to the girls how amazing it was and how it was probably the thing that had meant the most to me in the whole term, because what we’re attempting to do at Cambridge Lifeskills is to let kids know we’re here, and that it’s okay to ask for help,” Sandy said, adding that their awareness of the organisation, and their desire to help others, was “heartwarming” evidence of a recent community awareness shift.

“Having the community get on board and take some ownership, even in small ways like this, is so encouraging, because small ways lead to bigger ways,” she said.

“It was just really exciting to know these girls were thinking that way.”

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