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Life Education and Woolworths launch fund to help Aussie children to thrive

Monday, 22 Nov 2021
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Country kids have been coping with tough times and Life Ed is urging Australians to pitch in ahead of Christmas so kids don’t miss out on the vital health and wellbeing education they need to thrive.

All Aussies can now get behind supporting some of our most disadvantaged children, thanks to the Life Ed Thrive Children’s Fund.

The fund has been created to support children and schools in rural, remote and low socio-economic areas to develop fundamental life skills. Just $25 can deliver the Life Ed program to one child to help them achieve a happier and healthier future.

To kick start the fund, Woolworths Fresh Food Kids have come on board as foundation partners to the fund, contributing $125,000, which will help nearly 5,000 kids to benefit from the Life Education program.

Children living in rural and regional areas, and areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, face unique challenges to their health and wellbeing.

  • More than 1 in 6 (16.2%) children and adolescents aged 4-17 in rural areas have mental health problems. This is closer to 1 in 5 (19%) in outer regional areas.1
  • Overweight and obesity rates are higher in children and young people living in outer regional and remote areas (27%) compared with those in cities (23%), and higher still for children in the lowest socioeconomic areas (28%).2
  • Children growing up in rural and remote areas are more likely to experience trauma or adversity. This could include natural disasters, financial hardship, isolation, bullying, and domestic violence.3
  • Children in rural and remote areas also have less access to health services and early childhood education.4

Life Ed has been delivering health and wellbeing education for over 40 years to more than seven million children. The not for profit organisation is well known for its mascot Healthy Harold the giraffe. Harold, along with specialist educators, travel far and wide across the county via Life Ed’s iconic vans to empower children to make safe and healthy choices.

Since the COVID outbreak began last year, the organisation has also developed online and virtual classrooms so kids don’t miss out on health education at a time they need it the most.

Life Ed Acting CEO Josy Shaw said “Children and young people, especially those in country areas, have been facing extreme challenges, exacerbating the already existing disadvantage, and they need our help to build resilience and foster wellbeing.”

As a not for profit organisation, Life Ed needs help to reach children in remote and vulnerable communities across Australia. These are often the communities that need us most. These are often the communities in Australia where teaching children life-skills can help break the cycle when it comes to issues such as chronic disease, mental illness and substance abuse.

Sadly, they are also often the children who miss out. With the hold of every day Australians we would love to reach 1 million Aussie kids by 2025, including children from hard to reach communities.

Woolworths Head of Community & Sponsorships Sarah De La Mare said the fund will play a critical role to ensure kids can learn the importance of healthy food from a young age.

“We’ve been proud partners of Life Education for three years and are excited to continue supporting their work in regions of Australia that need it most through the launch of Life Ed Children’s Thrive Fund.

“As Today’s Fresh Food People, we’re committed to helping make fresh food more accessible for young Australians, and education plays a huge role in kids living a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to seeing Life Education expand its reach to ensure kids are empowered to eat healthy and stay active from a young age.”

To contribute to the Life Ed Children’s Fund, visit https://thrivechildrensfund.lifeed.org.au.


1. Royal Far West, 2017
2. AIHW, 2020
3. Trauma and Grief Network
4. Royal Far West, 2017