Lake Macquarie hosts NSW Brainwave Camp at Point Wolstoncroft | photos

LAKE Macquarie has turned on the fun for 12 special families from across NSW.

The families have children with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, and epilepsy.

Point Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreation Centre, at Gwandalan, was the venue for the annual NSW Brainwave Camp.

The camp was organised by Brainwave Australia, a paediatric charity that provides practical and emotional support for children with neurological conditions, and their families.

The kids had the opportunity to rock climb, paddle in a canoe, ride a giant swing, and test their aim at archery.

For the Garafalo family – children Chelsea, 5, Tayla, 6, and Cameron, 7, as well as mum Rachel and dad Matthew – the camp was a treat for them all.

“For us, as parents, this camp meant the world,” Ms Garafalo said.

“We watched our kids smile, laugh, do things they would never normally do. We connected with so many families, and have plans to catch up with them soon.”

It was a similar story for the Carroll family.

“What a fantastic camp!”, they said.

“The amazing volunteers worked tirelessly to make our weekend fun. It was great to see families joining together to have fun and encourage each other.

“It meant the world to our family to be able to experience this camp. Thank you, Brainwave Australia.”

Despite being a small charity with the equivalent of 3.5 fulltime staff, Brainwave Australia oversees 800 families across Victoria and NSW.  

“Our corporate volunteers are key to the success of our family event programs, and they assist with the roll-out of the events,” Brainwave Australia’s Laurence Hennessy said.

“Ferrero in NSW is a key player, along with our long-term community volunteers.”

Brainwave receives no government funding and fund-raises through an annual gala, trust and foundation, grant money and donations.

In addition to the annual camp, Brainwave Australia also supports families through the provision of support groups, Christmas parties, and a sibling program; it funds equipment and therapies for Brainwave children; offers hospital necessities packs for emergency admissions; and has a hospital voucher program to assist with meals, petrol, groceries and accommodation.

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