Local heroes deliver for school students

Local heroes deliver for school students

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Dandelions President Vicky Young, Darling Downs resident Vanessa Miller and Member for Darling Range Hugh Jones MLA with a ute full of backpacks ready to deliver.

In their second year supporting Dandelions WA’s school backpack drive, Member for Darling Range Hugh Jones and Darling Downs resident Vanessa Miller delivered 115 fully loaded backpacks to local students thanks to generous community donations.

Each year Dandelions WA seeks donations of school supplies to support students to start the year prepared.

In 2023 they provided 6,795 backpacks across the state and this year requests from schools more than doubled.

The pair delivered the swag of donations to Dandelions WA HQ last Thursday; 99 backpacks in total, along with boxes packed with rulers, pens, notepads, drink bottles, lunch boxes and calculators.

In exchange, Mr Jones’ ute was packed to the hilt with 115 fully loaded backpacks, which he delivered to schools across Serpentine Jarrahdale and Armadale in time for the start of term.

Dandelions WA co-founder and president Vicky Young said she and her team were packing until 10pm on Tuesday to get backpacks to schools in time for the first day of term.

“We had 12,700 plus requests this year and we have so far provided 7,035 for Day One of the school year,” she said.

“I shed a tear this morning, we had a beautiful message from a country school principal who said that without the backpacks, their children would not have attended school today, and now they are attending Day One full of hope and excitement.

“That’s the whole reason we do it, that’s what it’s all about. It’s a community effort, it’s only possible because of the community, and the community should be so proud of that.”

Member for Darling Range Hugh Jones agreed.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and the Darling Range community’s support means many of our students are starting day one of the school year with the tools they need to get ahead,” he said.

“My heartfelt thanks go out to Vanessa, who’s compassion and energy is unstoppable, and to Lisa and the team at Speedy Spanners, Colleen Rankin and the Byford Progress Association, and all the individuals who kindly donated. The generosity in our community never ceases to amaze me.”

This week the State Government announced it is supporting this year’s campaign with extra funding and followed up on Sunday with the announcement of the Ride to School Free Program, providing free public transport for students, potentially saving families up to $560 across the year.

Packing the ute with donations from the Darling Range community.