M2M Challenge helping Greenacres help others

M2M launch: Matthew McMaugh, Natasha Gregoratto, Ben Lovelace, Amy Walker, Peter Mannix, Rochelle Yates, Sean Garbutt. Picture: Sylvia Liber
M2M launch: Matthew McMaugh, Natasha Gregoratto, Ben Lovelace, Amy Walker, Peter Mannix, Rochelle Yates, Sean Garbutt. Picture: Sylvia Liber

The training centre created using proceeds from last year’s M2M Challenge was the perfect venue for the launch of the 2017 event on Wednesday.

Greenacres Mountain to Mountain challenge has raised $150,000 in its first two years – with last year’s funds put towards the new Kickstart Vocational Centre at North Wollongong which is almost complete.

CEO Chris Christodoulou said the finishing touches were being put on the multi-functional training centre, which would help clients of the disability service to develop work – and life – skills.

‘’It will enable participants in our transition-to-work program, Joblink, to get a range of skills, particularly in the hospitality and retail sectors, and hopefully lead them into employment,’’ he said.

‘’It will also give them many skills to live independently in the future.’’

Participants like 21-year-old Sherry Potter, who is vision impaired, and is keen to find a job after enjoying work experience through Greenacres Retirement Options.

‘’Just being there and being able to help the clients was amazing,’’ she said.

‘’I can’t wait to start using the centre to learn the skills I need to work – already it looks like a really cool place to hang out.’’

Mr Christodoulou hopes this year’s M2M Challenge on July 30 will be the biggest yet, with a goal of raising $80,000 for yet another fantastic project – a community, life and leisure centre at Lake Illawarra.

Daniel Fortescue and Sherry Potter, both 21, are participants in Greenacres' Joblink program, and are keen to start using the new Kickstart Vocational Training Centre. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Daniel Fortescue and Sherry Potter, both 21, are participants in Greenacres' Joblink program, and are keen to start using the new Kickstart Vocational Training Centre. Picture: Sylvia Liber

‘’We’re thrilled with how successful this event has been – with 1000 participants in the first year and 1500 in the second,’’ he said.

‘’So this year the challenge is to get close to 2000 participants and raise over $80,000.’’

Registrations are now open for the 13.6-kilometre run or walk which traverses the Illawarra escarpment, starting at the base of Mount Keira and finishing at Mount Kembla.

Achievable for a range of ages and abilities, at the end of the challenge participants get to join in the festivities at the Mount Kembla Mining Heritage Festival.

Details at www.m2mchallenge.com.au. Early bird registrations close on May 31.