Spirits were high in western Sydney – and so were the high-fives – when complete strangers helped fundraise a $100 thousand dollars in just three days.
The funds raised was a result of Insurance Australia Group’s (IAG) NRMA Insurance ‘High-Five for Blacktown’ initiative which saw community members stand side-by-side in front of a digital screen to high-five each other. For every slapping high-five made, five dollars was donated to one of 15 Blacktown charities.
The event held at Blacktown Civic Centre brought more than 17,000 high-fives together which supported Blacktown Neighbourhood Aid CCSS, Western Sydney Indigenous Youth Council, Common Groundz Community Café, SydWest Multicultural Services, WASH House, Together in Bidwell, Blacktown Womens' & Girls' Health Centre, Lalor Park Community Garden, Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency, ADRA Community Centre, Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, BYSA, Africa United Rugby League and Blacktown Area Community Centres.
The community experience was created to bring NRMA’s Good ‘Hoods program to life, which focuses on growing community connection and resilience by supporting community – led initiatives that are addressing specific local challenges. In Blacktown specifically, NRMA is working with the local community to help grow economic inclusion, enhance local leadership, and prepare for severe weather events.
In particular, the funds raised for Africa United Rugby League will assist with the development of a youth program for young African rugby players in the Blacktown area.
The donations contributed towards Lalor Park’s Common Groundz Community Café will help expand the volunteer program which provides hospitality training to unemployed community members, helping them gain jobs in the future.
The money raised for Blacktown Youth Services Association will support the 'Creative Hub' program, providing resources for Blacktown’s youth to express themselves through creative projects such as lyric writing, beat making, photography, videography and sound production.
Phil Lockyer, IAG Executive Manager of Safer Communities said the reason why NRMA chose to help the Blacktown area is because it’s a community that can be positively impacted by the Good ‘Hoods program.
“We know it’s a location with a lot of committed, passionate local leaders who really want to make change in their community. We wanted to be part of that change, not leading it, but helping enable the change with local people,” he said.
“By ensuring that we’re here for the long term and really committed to the community, we’re delivering on the NRMA Insurance brand proposition of delivering help. Help is who we are. It builds authenticity. It builds trust. And that’s what we’re doing in the Blacktown local government area.”