“It feels like yesterday that we were doing summersaults on the mats and playing bullrush in the basement. I can’t count how many times we got in trouble for running, but it never stopped us,” said Abbie.

Abbie attended The Girls & Boys Brigade from 1992 to 1998 and recalls the countless good memories and great friends she made.

Abbie and her two siblings lived with her mum, who worked two jobs to provide for her family. Abbie described the Brigade as a safe place for her, away from all the chaos and drama at home. Playing in the afternoons with other children her own age, going on excursions and camping trips were things that didn’t happen for her at home. She felt connected and included at the Brigade.

Abbie’s best friend at the Brigade was Melissa. They were inseparable. Now known as Miles, he and Abbie are still friends 28 years later.

After Abbie left the Brigade, she was inspired to help other children and families like her. She went on to study Community Services and has worked in child protection and now for the Department of Communities and Justice – Housing.

“I love my job and helping those in need. I see myself working for the community for the rest of my working life. I want to be able to help homeless youth living on the streets and women and children leaving domestic violence.”

It’s thanks to incredible supporters like you that Abbie and more children like her have been able to form incredible support networks and go on to help others.