Ipswich youth spread Christmas cheer

It’s meant to be a time of celebration, but for many the Christmas season can be anything but merry.

This is particularly true for the vulnerable groups in our community, with those in out-of-home care, experiencing domestic and family violence or facing financial hardship needing support now more than ever.

The Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC) is stepping up to the plate with its annual Christmas Hamper Project.

The project is focussed on creating and delivering hampers filled with essentials and gifts including toiletries, backpacks, toys and other household items to vulnerable groups across Ipswich.

One of the project leads, IYAC member Kacie Heath, said the Christmas Hamper Project brought the Ipswich community together in a very special way.

“This year, more than ever, a lot of us learnt the importance of connection, community, and family,” Ms Heath said.

“There are many is our local Ipswich community who may not be as fortunate to be able to spend the festive season as connected as they would hope due to a range of life’s hardships.

“This project aims to give back and create that community, and let them know Ipswich, and its young people, see them, hear them and respect them.

“It can be especially hard to face this season if you’re struggling or marginalised, so it’s a simple gesture of mateship to let them know they deserve to enjoy this time of year too.”

Once again, the project will support local not-for-profit Hannah’s House.

Once again, the project will support local not-for-profit Hannah’s House.

“Hannah’s House was the initial service chosen back in 2018, so they have been a mainstay each year as a nod to our original project,” Ms Heath said.

“They provide crisis accommodation to girls aged 12 to 17.

“Each year from there we have chosen different services across the Ipswich region.”

This year, those services are the Domestic Violence Action Centre and Liworaji Aboriginal Corporation.

“The other two project leads, Chloe Boike and Chloe Cullen have chosen DVAC and Liworaji respectively,” Ms Heath said.

“The festive seasons is often a very difficult time for those experiencing domestic and family violence, and the same applies to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families who face difficulties at this time of year due to the intersectionality caused by historical barriers.”

Ms Heath said she hopes the project – which is now in its third year – continues to grow year on year.

“Since its initial development this project has become an integral element of the IYAC calendar, and each year it grows in its reach of services, and in our abilities to give back, as we continue to network with other agencies during the year and leverage our community connections,” Ms Heath said.

“We hope to continue to see this growth for many years to come, as this project aims to be a mainstay for the advisory council.”

This year’s Christmas Hampers Project has been delivered by IYAC in partnership with Wesbro Services and Ipswich Pro drive. 

More information about IYAC is available at

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