Monthly Archives: November 2015

Very Special Kids Fair and Fashion Sale

The Very Special Kids Fashion Sale and Fair were huge successes. This year, the Fair and Fashion Sale were held on different days, with the fashion sale at a new Friday night time.

The Very Special Kids Fashion Sale was held on Friday 13 November at Malvern Town Hall. On sale were men’s, women’s and children’s clothing from Australian and European brands. Bundles of bargains were snapped up by all those who came. Your generosity helped us to raise an amazing $40,000.

Despite the initially chilly weather, the sun came out and Saturday 21 November’s Very Special Kids Fair and we raised $79,000. Children were entertained by performances from Peppa Pig and enjoyed a handball competition with Nick Dal Santo as well as the animal farm, bungy bounce and a visit from a fire engine. The smells of delicious food wafted around the grounds of Very Special Kids and many left with arms filled with fresh fruit, flowers, cakes and toys.

We would like to thank all the volunteers who generously gave their time to support Very Special Kids at the Fair and Fashion Sale. Your ongoing support helps us to continue to provide vital support to 926 families across Victoria by providing essential family support services and access to respite and end-of-life care at Very Special Kids Hospice.

Bendigo Tour of Tasmania Auction Night

Last Saturday’s Bendigo Tour of Tasmania ‘Auction Night’ at Symes BMW raised an incredible $76,000, taking the tally of funds raised by the Bendigo Tour of Tasmania to $115,000.

The 200 guests attending the auction night, and those who donated items for auction, showed incredible generosity. It is hoped that with the funds raised, Very Special Kids will be one step closer to opening an office in Bendigo to support families in the Greater Bendigo region.

Very Special Kids currently supports 28 families from the Greater Bendigo region through the Ballarat office, however, it is estimated that there may be up to 50 local families who would qualify for the services and support that are offered free-of-charge to all Victorian families.

The Bendigo Tour of Tasmania, will take place from Saturday 20 to Friday 26 of February 2016, with 20 cyclists from Bendigo riding 815kms around Tasmania. More information about the Bendigo Tour of Tasmania can be found at

Very Special Kids and the Bendigo Tour of Tasmania would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their contribution to the campaign so far:

Great Ideas Awards & Gifts
Mandurang Valley
Andy’s Earthmovers
Bendigo Insurance Brokers
Hume & Iser
Tarrant Family
Escape Travel
FeelGood Fitness
Pilcher Pty Ltd Building Contracters
Stephen & Gail Iser
Stringer’s Dairy
Bendigo City Framers
Jackman Flett & Associates
Moroni’s Bikes
Olivier Pilcher
The Golden Bean
William Adams
Rocks on Rosiland
Nourish Massage Therapies
Peppergreen Farm Catering
Ruffell Jewellers
Bendigo Dyno Tuning
Doherty’s Gym
Bendigo Travel & Cruise Centre
Building Product Supplies
Big Hill Cranes
Andy Hoare
Bendigo Hire
Black Jack Wineries
The Meadow
Bendigo Flying Club
The Foundry Hotel Complex
Diamond Vision Photography
Mitre 10
Rising Sun Hotel
National Hotel Complex
Karen Wickes
Wine Bank on View
Bike Force Australia Bendigo
Go Rubbish
Go Grass
Symes Motors
Peak Performance
Edward’s Providore
Andrew Stevenson
Simon Gerrans
Builders Arms Hotel
Mike Angove
Premix King
Darren Casey
McKean McGreggor
Bendigo magazine
Seight Custom Cycling
Bendigo Cycles
Jo Joes Pizza Bar & restaurant
Stride Events
Queens Arms Hotel
Skips on Wheels



Family fun at the Fair

There is something for the whole family at this year’s Christmas themed Very Special Kids Fair on Saturday 21 November.

Starting at 9am and running until 3pm, children will be entertained by performances from Peppa Pig, enchanted by an Australian reptile show and energised by a handball competition featuring North Melbourne’s Nick Dal Santo.

Following her 11am performance, children will have the chance to meet Peppa Pig at her 12pm Meet & Greet. Peppa Pig will also be on stage at 1pm to continue delighting children with song and dance.

The Kids Activities Area will be jam-packed with exhilarating activities including bungy trampolines, an animal farm and a fire truck. Children can also have their faces painted, try their luck with lucky-dips, participate in fun craft activities and be entertained by Zodo the Clown at the Kids Corner.

Santa will also be paying a very special visit to the Very Special Kids Fair. Between 10am and 2pm, children can have a beautiful photo taken with Santa and receive an early Christmas present.

Get your Christmas shopping out of the way at the market selling a range of beautiful homewares, homemade children’s nursery bedding, plants, toys and Christmas decorations. And with a silent auction on the day, you’re sure to find something special.

Those with a sweet tooth will love a visit to the cakes, jams and preserves stall, and those looking to relax will love the garden, fresh flowers and Devonshire Tea. Adults can also join in the fun of the lucky dip at the wine lucky-dip and raffle.

With all this excitement, you’re bound to work up a hunger. Find something tasty to eat at one of the many food stands including Grill’d, Gourmet BBQ, Greek food, souvlaki, pancakes and Italian food. And when the feet start to tire from all the excitement, the massage booth is the place to be.

With all proceeds going to helping Very Special Kids continue to support families and children with life-threatening conditions, this is one fair not to be missed!

Very Special Kids Fair details:
Date: Saturday 21 November 2015
Time: 9am-3pm
Location: 321 Glenferrie Road, Malvern

Entertainment Program:

Main Stage
9:00am Welcome to the Fair
10:00am Music Therapy Session
11:00am Peppa Pig Show
11:30am Australian Reptile Show
12:00pm Handball Competition
1:00pm Peppa Pig Show
1:30pm Un-Limited Duo
2:30pm DJ Benny B

Santa Photos – 10:00am to 2:00pm

Download the Fair entertainment timetable and map

Peppa Pig

Very Special Kids Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas shopping is all wrapped up at the Very Special Kids Fair  on Saturday 21 November 9am to 3pm.

There’s something for everyone with homemade cakes and preserves, boutique wines, fresh flowers and plants, quality toys and baby goods and craft and home-wares at the Fair market.

Check out our Christmas Gift Guide below.

Download the Very Special Kids Christmas Gift Guide

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Christmas Gift Guide 2015 2

A day for remembering

The annual Remembrance Day enables families, volunteers and staff to come together to remember all the special children who have died.

For many families, Remembrance Day is an opportunity to honour and remember their child in a supported space with others who can understand some of their journey.

This year’s theme of snowflakes reflected on grief being a unique and individual journey, as well as snowflakes all bearing their own unique qualities just as the children that were being remembered had.

More than 200 families attended the service at the Malvern Town Hall. Parents and siblings were involved in the service through the sharing of reflections, blessings and through song. The balloon release after the service on the Very Special Kids lawn was a highlight and a way for parents to remember the children.

Children who spent time in the craft room with an amazing group of volunteers enjoyed making snow globes and a variety of snowflakes along with origami, playdough and story time.

Special thanks to Stonnington Council for the use of Malvern Town Hall, as well as the many staff and volunteers who help make such an important day happen.

Focusing on what’s really important

For most of us the holiday season is both a wonderful time to spend with our families, but also a time of stress as we frantically shop for gifts, entertain guests and attend events.

At the Winrow house, it’s a quieter time. For parents Vanessa and Scott, having their beautiful son Josh, whose serious epileptic syndrome could send him to ICU without warning, has made them prioritise what’s really important.

Christmas for the Winrow’s centres around family time, and doing things together that don’t put too much pressure on Josh.

“Christmas shopping? Who’s got time for all that hullabaloo?” We have to be mindful of Josh. If he’s having a bad day we just roll with it, and plans might change,” says Vanessa.

12-year-old Josh has a rare epileptic syndrome named Lennox-Gastaut that causes potentially fatal seizures. He also has an intellectual disability and is non-verbal.

Up until Josh was two-and-a-half years old, the Winrows had no idea there was anything seriously wrong.

“The seizures came out of nowhere, and we found ourselves calling the ambulance,” says Vanessa.

“It was very frightening and we were unsure of what to do. It got quite out of control before the doctors were able to find any medication to stabilise it.”

A couple of years on at an Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria meeting, Vanessa learnt of Very Special Kids.

“I was all for finding all the support we could possibly get,” says Vanessa.

Josh’s syndrome means he requires constant care from Vanessa to meet his daily needs.

“I’m the nurse, the everything. I’ve had to learn how to medicate him in an emergency situation so that we don’t end up in hospital,” she says.

Very Special Kids Hospice, with its 24-hour nursing care, is the only place Vanessa can access when she needs to have longer stays away from Josh.

“None of the family could really deal with his seizures and it’s too frightening for them.

“Whereas when Josh goes to the hospice I can walk out the door and I know he’s going to be fine. There’s a real sense of security that he’s in good hands.”

Vanessa also receives emotional support from their Family Support Worker, Edwina, and attends coffee mornings where she can compare notes with other mums who have children with a life-threatening condition.

“Having someone there to talk to is definitely helpful when you can’t talk about certain things with your friends,” she says.

For Josh’s eight-year-old sister Phoebe, it can be hard having a brother with a life-threatening condition. Phoebe attends Very Special Kids Sibling Days every school holidays where she has fun and explores her emotions in a safe space with peers she can relate to.

“It’s essential for Phoebe. It helps to have something that’s entirely about her, where she is the special kid for that time,” she says.

As Josh has been getting older and more independent, Vanessa and Scott have wanted for him to have his own friends. Recently the family have been assigned a Family Services Volunteer to spend time with Josh.

“We wanted Josh to have his own special friend. Our volunteer, Nick, is very caring and wants to help others. He’s one in a million, I think,” says Vanessa.

In the future, all Vanessa hopes for, is that Josh will be happy. “I think getting a friend is the first step to that,” she says.

We currently support 926 families, like the Winrows, who receive essential family support services and access to respite and end-of-life care at Very Special Kids Hospice. This number will continue to grow, so, this Christmas we need your help more than ever.


Fashion Sale top picks

Fashion blogger and Very Special Kids Fashion Sale Ambassador Jess Dempsey has picked her favourite pieces from the collection of clothing that will be on sale at the Very Special Kids Fashion Sale on Friday 13 November, 5pm to 10pm, at the Malvern Town Hall.

Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, jewellery and accessories, donated by Australian and European brands, will be on sale at up to 90% off.

Jess said she is looking forward to an evening of shopping with friends.

“It’s great to know that a night out shopping with my girlfriends will help provide much-needed services to families caring for children with life-threatening conditions,” she said.

Find style tips and mum inspiration at Jess’ blogs and

For more event information RSVP to the Facebook event.

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