It wasn’t just 24 excited “Kookaburra Kids” that braved the grey skies and rain on the first Tuesday of the July school holidays, but also eight All Financial Services staff in their first Corporate Volunteering Day for Kookaburra Kids. And not only was it the weather that was confronted …. Fears of heights and climbing were also combatted when the teams united to climb Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo.

After a quick introduction, staff and children were briefed, safely harnessed up and marched to the beginning of what would be the first of the wild ropes adventures. The lower route saw cautious steps being taken on swinging foot planks, tight rope walking above animal enclosures and zoo patrons, skateboarding on high wire and finishing off with a great swing on the flying fox. Those whose sense of adventure had not yet been satisfied took off for the higher route swinging through tree tops, climbing nets and clutching at dangling ropes all while taking in the breathtaking views looking out to Sydney’s harbour. AFS staff encouraged the kids along through the challenge even when some felt they may not be able to finish it!

“It was such a rewarding experience,” said Despina from AFS. “The activity was the perfect choice since it gave us an opportunity to form camaraderie with the kids given the adult to child ratio. We all cheered and encouraged one another along and had a laugh along the way! Would do it again in a heartbeat.”

The activity provided AFS to not only sponsor the activity day and support the children on a face to face level, but to also bond together in their own corporate team building day. Comments from staff included “it was the best fun I’ve had at a corporate event” or “A fantastic team building day where it was a win win!”

The activity finished off with some craft and much deserved pizza to feed the hungry climbers. This time also gave the groups an opportunity to share their stories and talk about how much they had all enjoyed the challenges.

Corporate supporters and sponsors of Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation make a big difference in the lives of the children in the program, who live in families affected by mental illness. It is with this support and generosity that these “kids can be kids” and partake in fun activities at camps or throughout the school holidays giving them the opportunity to also share memories with their peers when they return to school. And it positively encourages them to be happy and active while building their confidence.

A big Thank You to the staff at All Financial Services for “climbing to extra heights” this school holidays to bring more smiles to our Kookaburra kids.