COVID-19 Response

07 Apr 2020

A LETTER FROM SOPHIE RYAN, CEO, SONY FOUNDATION AUSTRALIA 

Dear Sony Foundation Supporters, 

These are challenging and difficult times for all of us. We realise many Australians are worried and anxious and some of our partners are going through the biggest challenges their businesses have ever faced. We are thinking about you and remain grateful that you are part of our Sony Foundation community.

This pandemic is forcing us all to change the way we work and in particular for Sony Foundation, how we continue to support those young people who are amongst the most vulnerable in our community. A cornerstone of Sony Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of our young people in need, and we are committed to helping adapt our programmatic work to address these new challenges that we face. Below are some updates on these efforts and also an update on our current, and ever-evolving, plan for our 2020 events.

On behalf of the Sony Foundation, please take good care and as always, thank you for your support. 

Warm regards,

Sophie Ryan

AN UPDATE ON OUR PROGRAMS

Young Australians suffering from cancer, disability and homelessness are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This hasn’t changed since COVID-19, in fact, they need our support now more than ever...
 

These unprecedented times are causing new and difficult challenges to the already at risk young people Sony Foundation supports such as:-

  • The 18 year old cancer patient who is avoiding contact with all humans because of a suppressed immunity – for them catching COVID-19 is a matter of life and death. Watch this video message from You Can Champ Nikhil
  • The young adult living rough who relies on the Sony Foundation funded Youth Off The Streets Food Van that goes out every night providing a nourishing meal, perhaps the only meal they will get today. According to reports, the number of homeless youth is likely to increase substantially in the coming months.
  • The teenager escaping domestic violence and drugs that needs the Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) social workers to help keep them on track, in safe places, away from harmful relationships and dangerous activities.  
  • The mother caring 24 hrs a day for her children in isolation, already with her hands full caring for her child with disabilities.

Sony Foundation’s programs support these people and more. We are working to adapt our programs to ensure our young people are supported and cared for during these unprecedented times.

Here are some of the ways we are doing this…

You Can Connected: Music & Mates an Online Streaming Series held weekly for youth cancer patients nationally. Hosted by a different Sony Music Artist each week the sessions will provide some fun, escapism and a sense of community for those who are feeling lonely, isolated and anxious.

The first Music and Mates session was held on Friday April 10, and hosted by Sony Foundation Ambassador Stan Walker, who not only performed a number of his hit singles, but inspired the You Can Community by sharing his journey with cancer. 

An Accommodation Support Scheme for regional cancer patients and their families that must travel to the city for life-saving treatment. For them, now more than ever, they need clean, safe, private places to stay whilst they receive life-saving treatment in city hospitals. These apartments will provide the respite and home away from home for them and their families.  Importantly this accommodation will be provided at no charge with costs funded by Sony Foundation.  

Food Van feeding the homeless in Sydney - The Food Van continues to go out every night in Sydney to provide essential meals to the vulnerable in our community.  The van is operating with a reduced volunteer group and enhanced hygiene measures ensuring those less fortunate are still able to access these free meals.

Children's Holiday CampsWe are hopeful that 30 Holiday Camps for over 700 children with special needs will take place as planned at the end of year. This respite program will be in more need than ever for families. Our annual Sony Foundation Children's Holiday Camp Conference will be held virtually in July allowing more teachers and volunteers from 50 participating schools and universities to attend. 

The MMAD Sony STAR Program - Sony Foundation's 'Catch A Falling STAR' Program will coach 20 young people this year to turn their life around. They are moving their one-on-one sessions to skype sessions and also converting their 12 education modules to be accessible online courses. They will also be hosting virtual group sessions to keep music front and centre as a vehicle to heal and overcome past trauma – dancing, singing and jamming.

AN UPDATE ON OUR CONNECT PROGRAM 

EVENT INVITE : MMAD Virtual Hangout for Corporate Partners 

Are your employees in need of some hope, resilience and inspiration? We’re inviting all employees from our Corporate Partner network to tune into our special Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) Virtual Hangout.

The session will take many of the positive wellbeing elements used to help mentor youth in the MMAD workshops mixed with some inspirational stories and music from our MMAD family.

Stay tuned for all the details coming soon...

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