Little Dragon helps Little Wings fly high to save vital service
21 May 2020
St.George Bank partners with New South Wales charity to provide a critical rural and regional service impacted by COVID-19 crisis
Little Wings, a children’s charity flying seriously ill children to and from life-saving treatment, has received a lifeline of its own thanks to a two-year partnership with St.George Bank, that will mean the service can now take flight and continue.
As the COVID-19 crisis hit, Little Wings’ funding ceased overnight, meaning the organisation could only service the most severe cases on its limited reserve – without any guarantee for families relying on the service after category two and three elective surgery restrictions were lifted.
Ross Miller, General Manager for St.George, stated the bank has a rich history supporting rural and regional NSW communities in times of need, and this has included supporting this vital service since 2014 through St.George Foundation.
“Regional NSW has been hard hit by so much devastation over the past six months, they need all the support they can at this time to navigate the financial impacts of that on their communities.”
“We are deeply committed to helping them recover, just as we did during the bushfires, and now to navigate the complexities of COVID-19. Long-term partnerships such as this one will help to ensure community organisations that support our most vulnerable can keep their doors open.”
“Our financial support means that from their humble hangar in Bankstown, Little Wings can now take to the skies again and continue to fulfill the crucial role in the lives of over a hundred families across the state, and they are in desperate need of this service right now.”
Clare Pearson, CEO of Little Wings, said that while the charity was able to still fly some families thanks to staff volunteering their hours, she was deeply concerned about the sustainability of the important service long-term due to the sudden and significant reduction in funding before St.George came along.
“The majority of our funds came from clubs and fundraisers – so our funding dried up immediately after the COVID-19 crisis hit. We were getting by one day at a time – and I was calling anyone and everyone for support.
“While COVID is a crisis we’re all living through, these families have an ill child that still needs to get to and from lifesaving treatment, now with the added complication of ensuring travel is safe and reliable. We desperately wanted to continue to fly these families so they could stay together during treatment and return home sooner, to also free up much-needed beds at hospitals.
“It was an incredible relief when I got the call from St.George on the offer to help, as we can now commit to flying many more regional and rural families across NSW. We would never have anticipated that our Little Wings charity would be saved by a Little Dragon.”
About Little Wings
Little Wings is a non-profit organization that provides free, professional and safe flight and ground transport services for sick children in rural and regional NSW. We strive to ease the journey and help sick children access specialised medical services and treatments that are only available in major cities or towns. We do everything we can to support families by easing the financial burden, emotional strain and travel fatigue that they experience due to the long-distance travel associated with receiving vital medical treatment.
Less than 10% of all funds go towards administrational fees, meaning nearly every dollar received goes directly to providing essential flights for families.
To enquire about the services provided by Little Wings, apply for a volunteer position, donate, or find out more about the service, visit www.littlewings.org.au.
About St.George Bank
St.George Bank is one of Australia's leading Retail and Business Banking brands. In 2008, St.George became part of Westpac Group. Known for its exceptional service, innovative, award-winning products and specialist financial advice for retail and business customers, St.George has also built its reputation on strong connections with local communities. These include community sponsorships such as the St.George Footy Grants and its work with St.George Foundation’s Community and Inspire grants as well as its new COVID-19 Emergency Relief grant.