Very Special Kids was established in 1985 and became the first support organisation in Victoria designed to offer assistance to families of children with life-threatening conditions.
A year earlier in 1984, two families met while caring for their children who were dying from leukaemia. Throughout the trauma of their children’s illnesses and deaths, the two families supported each other and recognised a need for additional support for families like theirs. At the time, there was no appropriate support for families of children with life-threatening conditions.
Over the next year many more parents came together because they saw the need to offer support to others who were experiencing similar trauma and grief. They also appreciated the complexities involved and that support should not be dependent solely on other parents.
Clear and immediate objectives were set, and the need to appoint a person to train volunteers was identified as a priority. It was agreed that with a band of trained volunteers, Very Special Kids would be more effective and able to reach out to the large number of existing and potential families who may need assistance.
In 1985, Sister Margaret Noone (pictured above) was the organisation’s first employee, becoming the Director and then eventually the Patron of Very Special Kids.