Every month or so, ServiceFM employee Ben Pursche heads back to school, giving time to a cause close to his heart.
The ServiceFM General Manager – Hard Services donates his time to providing breakfast for vulnerable children at Keller Road Primary School in Adelaide’s north.
Ben (pictured with Keller Road Primary School’s Tracey Constable) is part of a KickStart For Kids team called the Give Back Group, mostly featuring businesspeople associated with the facility management industry.
For Ben, being involved is worthwhile as he can see the boost the breakfast program gives the primary-school-aged children.
“I love seeing the difference breakfast makes for the children and the smiles on their faces as they’re having a happy start to the day,” Ben said.
“The people that we work with there all love that we are there offering our time and taking it seriously.”
Ben’s volunteer role is a simple one, preparing the day’s breakfast requirements – cereal, drinks, toast – and chatting to the young students and helping them feel comfortable.
He said the conversational aspect is enjoyable but also provides him a reminder of his own fortunate position.
“It’s important to note the benefits of this for these children, it helps them get their day off to a positive start,” Ben said.
“Or they will have got up that morning and organised their siblings for school and been so busy they haven’t had breakfast themselves.
“School is the most important part of their day, and not just because of the educational aspects.”
In May, the Give Back Group helped facilitate another valuable experience for the students by securing donations to subsidise a school camp.
Among those to provide donations was ServiceFM.
Tracey Constable, Keller Road Primary School’s Student Wellbeing Leader, said the Give Back Group’s contribution is inspirational.
She said the support in providing the regular breakfasts is very valuable, but the donation to support the school camp will be something long remembered by all involved.
The camp, which took place at Arbury Park Outdoor Education Camp in the Adelaide Hills, was the first camp this group of students had ever attended.
“I think it’s given children an opportunity to participate in a life-changing event that they otherwise wouldn’t have experienced,” Tracey said.
“For our kids, who don’t leave Salisbury often, to be on a bus going into a camp for three days where they could just be kids and out in the nature with other kids was transformational.
“For those kids, who couldn’t normally financially afford a camp like this, it provided immense opportunities for growth.
“We are just so thankful for that support.”
Ben said he would recommend involvement with KickStart For Kids to any professionals looking to go the extra mile in their community.
“There are countless schools operating these programs and they could all do with your help,” he said.
KickStart For Kids is a not-for-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged school children in South Australia by providing school breakfast and lunch programs, mentoring programs and the Camp KickStart school holiday care program.
More information about KickStart For Kids.