Feel the Magic 1-in-20 challenge

The 1-in-20 Challenge is back!

We’re inviting you to join our 1-in-20 Challenge this October – its just the excuse to take a break, get active in the outdoors and support others in our community.

What Is The 1-in-20 Challenge?

The challenge is to walk or run 120km this October to help fund Camps for the 1 in 20 kids left behind after the devastating loss of their Mum or Dad.

In Australia, just over 300,000 children will lose a parent before they reach the age of 18. To put this into perspective, there is most likely a child grieving the loss of a parent in every class at school.

Based on these statistics, we all know a family struggling with grief. Those families deserve support and we’re here to help.

In fact, we can all help!

Walk or run 120km for grieving kid and families, or if 120km is more than challenge for you, start by aiming to raise just $1 for every km you walk or run, or set yourself a $120 goal… but the sky is the limit!

Last year some teams and individuals raised over $3,500!

Together, we can fund Camps, research and resources to help grieving kids heal – we’ll also give our own mental and physical health a boost by getting outside and getting active.

3 Easy Steps To Sign Up

Signing up is easy.

  1. Set up your profile as an individual or as a team and invite others to participate.
  2. Tell your colleagues, family and friends and ask for donations
  3. Feel good knowing every step your take will change the lives of grieving kids.

Plus, take these three easy steps to sign up before 1 October for your chance to win $500 worth of Havok Athletic activewear!

Sign up now! And the next time you feel like skipping that run or walk, you can push through, knowing you’re changing lives with every step.

How to support grieving kids after Father’s Day

Thank you to our incredible community for supporting our #LetsTalkFathersDay movement.

Many of you have valued reading our guide 5 Ways to Talk to a Grieving Child on Father’s Day’. We hope this helps our wider community support grieving kids through milestones and anniversaries like Father’s Day and encourages more of us to show them we are ready to listen and talk about their Dad too.

We make a special mention and thank you to the Feel the Magic kids who openly and proudly shared their memories and special moments. You are truly inspiring.

We also thank our Ambassador, Supercars Championship Driver, Scott Pye for sharing his memories of his Dad, Robert.

If you missed Channel Nine news, tap the link here to view the segment on our amazing Camper Darcy and his mum Allison as they celebrated Darcy’s Dad Gavin on Father’s Day.

We also extend our gratitude to another Feel the Magic Ambassador, Deborah Knight for welcoming our CEO Adam Blatch on her afternoon radio show.

Adam told Deborah how Father’s Day is a difficult day for many families and, for a lot of us, it is hard to know what to say or how to support grieving kids. Listen to the interview here.

Grieving kids deserve our support

Here’s how to make sure grieving kids keep feeling supported:

  1. Reach out to a grieving family after Father’s Day to check in and see how they are feeling after the day.
  2. Keep spreading the word about our camps, resources, and community – so that by next Father’s Day, even more kids have a place where they belong.
  3. Keep grieving kids in mind during anniversaries and events. A text, chat and a friendly ear could help them through the tough times

You may also find this article ‘Supporting Children & Teens Through Grief Anniversaries and Significant Events’ useful to help support a grieving child.

Plus, our Grief Resource Hub has guides, activities, books, videos and TED talks you may find helpful. And we regularly share blogs with our followers. You can keep up to date with our latest blogs and news articles here.

Challenges That Change Us

In a recent ‘Challenges That Change Us’ podcast, guests and Feel the Magic founders James and Kristy Thomas, shared their experiences of loss, advice for dealing with grief, how grief affected them in different ways and using the analogy of seasons for understanding grief.

“Grief has no time frame.”

“Just be there. You don’t have to do anything, it’s not about fixing them, it’s just about being there

“Reach out to Feel the Magic…join community groups…connect with others who know exactly what you are going through and you’ll find peace knowing that other people understand what you are going through.”

Listen to James’ advice for dealing with grief in this video snippet.

Kristy shared the analogy of the seasons in understanding grief in this podcast. During Talk Time sessions at our Feel the Magic Camps the analogy of the seasons helps grieving kids unpack their grief. The journey and time taken through the seasons is different for everyone. Children are given an opportunity to explore their thoughts and emotions through characteristics of the seasons within their grief.

Listen to Kristy talk about the analogy of seasons in this audiogram.

Listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or iHeartRADIO

James and Kristy founded Feel the Magic in 2013, driven by their personal experiences with grief and a mission to make sure no Australian child goes through grief alone. We proudly continue this mission and have helped more than 1,200 kids and their families.

Darren McMullen Feel the Magic Ambassador

Ambassador and celebrity boardroom challenger

If you’ve been following us on socials, you would have seen our newest Ambassador Darren McMullen challenging it out on Celebrity Apprentice Australia. Darren is not only a proud Ambassador but selected Feel the Magic has his charity of choice for the battle in the boardroom.

As a proud mental health advocate, Darren noticed the link between mental health issues, suicide, and grief.

Darren shared: “I’ve lost friends through suicide and mental health issues. And when I looked back, I realised – a lot of these friends had lost a parent when they were young.”

That’s why he’s so passionate about Feel the Magic and our programs. He believes that through early intervention and grief education, we can help kids and families learn to live with their grief in healthy ways and avoid serious mental health issues later on in life.

That’s why he has been playing the boardroom game in Celebrity Apprentice, and he’s doing just fine!

Record breaking win

On the very first premiere episode for this season, Darren, Benji Marshall (thank you for your huge contribution, Benji), and teammates not only won the opening challenge, but raised the most amount money ever on Celebrity Apprentice. This was an amazing and massive effort and will help so many more grieving children and their families. This win means Feel the Magic can offer them more free camps, resources, and support.

Giving back and second chances

Darren generously gave Turia Pitt back her hard-earned winnings on episode two. From Feel the Magic CEO Adam Blatch “We are so proud to have Darren McMullen as Ambassador at Feel the Magic. The generosity in not accepting Turia Pitt winnings for her charity Interplast Australia & New Zealand on Celebrity Apprentice Australia reflects the values that Feel the Magic holds. The amazing contribution by Darren and his team will support many more grieving children and families around Australia. Darren is helping us get the word out about the 1 in 20 Australian kids grieving the death of a parent and the support we can offer them. We are very grateful for all his time and energy”.

Then on episode eight, Darren had a second chance at the winnings as Project Manager. But he and Team Innovate were unlucky to be outdone by their opponents.

Above all these efforts, Darren has been proudly promoting Feel the Magic – on television, social media, and radio – even during a Nova 969 rap battle against Wippa. Our Instagram polling tells us that Darren out did Wippa hands down!

Darren has half the season to go, and we can’t wait to watch the battles ahead.

Celebrity Apprentice style golf day

Outside of the boardroom, Darren and Benji will be joining Feel the Magic for this year’s annual charity golf day at Concord Golf course.

Would you like to play a round of golf, meet our Ambassador, raise money, and help more grieving kids heal? Then come along and experience a Celebrity Apprentice style Golf Day.

Play as a team, buy individual player tickets, or bring along extra guests to a fantastic lunch. Click through for more information.

We can’t thank Darren enough for all his efforts, commitment, and shout outs. The more we can spread the word about Feel the Magic, the more grieving kids we can help heal.  No Australian child should feel alone in their grief.

First of a kind Let's Talk Suicide

Mental Health Minister backs ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camp

First of a kind ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camps

Thanks to vital support from the NSW Government and Minister for Mental Health, Regional Health and Women, Bronnie Taylor, Feel the Magic can help more children grieving the suicide of their parent or sibling.

Let’s Talk Suicide camps, a first of their kind in Australia, are offered to kids aged seven to 17 who are grieving the suicide of a loved one.

The Feel the Magic ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camps, a first of their kind in Australia, are offered to kids aged seven to 17 who are grieving the suicide of a loved one. These camps give grieving kids the mental tools and coping skills to help manage their grief, as well as a community to lean on.

Supporting children and families affected by suicide

Feel the Magic Chief Executive Officer, Adam Blatch said “Sadly, suicide claims the life of many parents every year, leaving behind heartbroken and devastated partners, children, and grandparents. The Let’s Talk Suicide program provide a safe space for children to learn new skills to manage their grief and talk through their pain and loneliness with people who truly understand. It is also a vital support to parents and carers who must juggle their own grief.”

Suicide is the leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 49 years old in Australia (Australian Government, Department of Health), with many of these instances resulting in a child having to mourn the loss of a parent or sibling.  Read more about the prevalence of childhood bereavement here.

With the support of the NSW Government, Feel the Magic can offer this critical Let’s Talk Suicide program to more grieving children.

The suicide bereavement program is funded by the NSW Government and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor encourages affected parents and carers to enrol their children and teens. “I cannot imagine the enormous, heart-breaking task of explaining to your child why a parent or sibling felt their only option was to take their own life,” Minister Taylor said. “We want these parents and carers to know that they are not alone and there is a community of people who understand their pain and grief and will support them as they work through it as a family.”

An impactful collaboration

Let’s Talk Suicide has been created as a collaboration to ensure that the program is as impactful as possible. Partners include the NSW Ministry of Health who support this program as part of their ‘Towards Zero Suicides’ initiative, The Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, Roses in the Ocean, and the University of Melbourne.

First in-person ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camp

Initially a virtual Zoom-based program, the first in-person ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ (LTS) camp took place at Stanwell Tops on the 15 May for children aged seven to 17 years of age. “Now with in-person camps, kids can build a connection with others facing grief and experience the benefits of the program, face to face.” Said Mr Blatch.

Helping children deal with loss

Created specifically for kids who are grieving the suicide of a loved one, LTS teaches bereaved children how to heal from the guilt, shame and blame that often comes with suicidal grief.

The program is developed in collaboration with clinical psychologists, the NSW Ministry of Health, leading suicide support organisations, and those with a lived experience.

At the LTS camps, kids will learn the skills, tools, and coping mechanisms to help them deal with grief, even when they’re in triggering situations. They have a safe place to explore their grief and heal, with other children who can relate to them like no one else.

Find out more here, register your interest, or contact 1300 602 465.

Crisis support

Please note we do not offer crisis services. If you require urgent assistance, to ensure your safety, please go to your nearest hospital’s accident and emergency department or if you’re in need of immediate emotional support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Grief Line on 1300 845 745. Please take care. 

8th Night of Magic

The 8th Night of Magic

Jazz, generosity, friends, and magic filled the room at the 8th Night of Magic last weekend.

A sincere thanks to everyone there – your company and kindness made it the most successful Night of Magic ever!

The money raised will directly support over 800 Feel the Magic Talk Time sessions – that is an outstanding achievement! Talk Time is a psychoeducational session at camp for kids to learn how to face, feel and heal with their grief.

From all of us at Feel the Magic, thank you for your immense generosity!

We look forward to seeing everyone there again in 2023 to help us reach more grieving kids.

We say a huge thanks to our families, volunteers and supporters for helping us do what we do to serve the community around us.

Our 8th Night of Magic gala dinner would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and partners.

We thank the Saunders family, Casella Family Brands, SouthTrade International, Fisher & Paykel, Channel 9, Affinity Diamonds, BDC Partners, Smithfield RSL, SDG Spatial Data Group, Wests Tigers Foundation and Metway Developments.

A special thank you goes to our Night of Magic organising committee for your time and energy in helping to make the night such a success. Thank you Adam Blatch, Kristy Thomas, Sean Preece, Sam Trattles, Michael Zann, Nicole Suffling, Bridget Sakr, Alex Doyle, and Isabella Mee.

We must also acknowledge our Mission Partner The Saunders Family Foundation for their continued support for Feel the Magic. From the very beginning, their support has funded numerous Camp Magic programs and fundraising events. Monica and Betty have continued the proud Saunders family legacy of supporting those in need.

We could not be more grateful and appreciative of their continued and impactful support. Thank you for your belief and support in the Feel the Magic vision.