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Stronger Together

It may be a new name but the Stronger Together Foundation has been helping families for over a decade.

Previously known as the Fit Kidz Foundation it supports around 120 families across its different programs every year.

The official opening of the Stronger Together Foundation office at Castle Hill was held on Wednesday, 12 th June. The not-forprofit has been providing support and services to local children who have a disability, delay or neurodivergent needs, their families and local community for over 10 years.

Services include, vital early intervention therapies, such as Speech and Occupational Therapy and family support such as, sibling support groups, family connection groups, and family events where families who have a child with a disability can come together in a safe way to form connections with each other.

Ellen Kulbicki (Witzlsperger), Educational and Developmental Psychologist with the Stronger Together Foundation said: “Over the 10 years we have supported around 500 different families, some stay with us for many years.”

The Stronger Together Foundation was awarded the 2024 Hills Shire Community Group of the Year for the work it does in the community, in particular its highly regarded annual ‘Stronger Together Conference’.

Stronger Together Stfsay Stronger Together

The first Stronger Together Conference held in 2022 was attended by 200 parents and its success was repeated the next year. The one-day conference is for parents and carers of children with disabilities or neuro-diversity and aims to break down the isolation that many parents of children with special needs feel. This year’s conference is on Saturday, August 31st at Castle Hill RSL.

Cheralee, whose 12-year-old son lives with Autism and intellectual disability said:

“The Stronger Together Conference is a one-of-a-kind and invaluable experience for the special needs community. It is a very rare opportunity to have access to multiple disability service providers, resources, amazing and informative presentations and network with other special needs parents in one place at the same time.”

Under the guidance of Ellen Kulbicki, who was named 2024 Hills Shire Citizen of the Year, the Stronger Together Foundation continues to find opportunities to further support the local disability community.

“We are committed to ensuring all children with a disability are included in our community, and so our supports and services go beyond just supporting the child and family. They also focus on building a community of families who have a child with a disability to form meaning connections and reduce social isolation,” she said.”We are not just an early intervention service, we are a community.”

Ellen has been involved in the Disability and Inclusion Reference Group for the Hills Shire Council and has been supporting the Council’s events team to host sensory sensitive sessions at local events and discuss opportunities to ensure the community is inclusive of children with disabilities and their families.

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