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“Shark Tank for charities” – charities face off for $100,000

Three charities have competed to win a share of $100,000 in a Shark Tank styled bid

Three grassroots charities have faced off in the “Shark Tank for charities” in a bid to win a share of $100,000 worth of funding.

The Pitch In event saw WheelEasy, Limbs 4 Life and Waves of Wellness compete in six minute pitch intervals in front of Insurance and Care (icare) staff, Australia’s largest not-for-profit social insurer providing compensation to workers.

icare foundation General Manager, Amanda Keogh, said: “We wanted to bring together grassroots change-makers who have the potential to create positive, long-lasting difference in the prevention of post-injury care and treatment space.”

The event, hosted by ABC Radio’s James Valentine, saw the three charities present a look into what each foundation does and how it helps the care and treatment sector.

Waves of Wellness CEO, Joel Pilgrim, spoke about the Surfing Experience – an eight week program for young people at risk of, or experiencing, mental health issues.

“Our program breaks down the barriers and stigma that prevents people from being well. The primary focus of the program is to introduce surfing to participants as a way to improve connection, physical health, mental health and wellbeing,” Pilgrim said.

“By facilitating conversations and connections and by increasing awareness, we want to change the way mental health is viewed and treated.”

Each audience member was allocated $750 to give to the pitch of their choice at the end of the event. Waves of Wellness received the most funding at $38,500 followed by WheelEasy with $33,250 and Limbs 4 Life with $28,250.

Max Burt from WheelEasy explained in his pitch the foundation’s website and how it offered wheelchair users the basic tools to have a better quality of life.

“Our first product is an Access Information Website – a sort of TripAdvisor for everything to do with mobility access,” Burt said. “It crowdsources information, inviting users to share what they know, building a really powerful and influential community of mobility-impaired people.”

CEO of Limbs 4 Life, Melissa Noonan, gave a pitch on the support the foundation offers. The organisation is the peak body for amputees in Australia and provides support to thousands of amputees and their care givers.

“I founded Limbs 4 Life so that no one has to go through the trauma of limb loss alone. Limbs 4 Life supports amputees through the provision of one-on-one peer support in hospitals, health and wellbeing information, social inclusion events and activities and web-based information and assistance tools.”

In the last two years, the icare foundation has provided over $13 million in funds to support vital programs and research projects to prevent workplace injuries, improve the quality of life for workers and enhance return-to-work outcomes.

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