Canberra Outlet has teamed up with Marymead this Christmas in support of a unique service for young people on the autism spectrum. The program, called Dungeons and Dragons, is a role-playing game that teens and young adults on the autism spectrum can play together once a week during school terms.
Marymead Communications and Fundraising Unit Manager Jaclyn Callaghan says the program has been a huge success, but it costs $20,000 a year to run the four, weekly Dungeons & Dragons groups.
“Dungeons and Dragons is a creative, social game that builds engagement for those on autism spectrum. The participants have an opportunity to get lost in thought and creativity while stepping outside their comfort zones a little. It is so popular that we now have a waitlist to join,” Callaghan says.
This Christmas, Canberra Outlet has offered to donate all proceeds from their gift-wrapping services and visits to Santa to fund the program for 2020.
Canberra Outlet is hoping to raise as much as they can towards the $20,000 target.
Callaghan says it’s not the first time Canberra Outlet has stepped up to help Marymead.
“Canberra Outlet has supported Marymead for a number of years and the management team uses any opportunity to think about how to give back. Canberra Outlet is always on board with Marymead’s programs and activities; they go beyond simply opening their doors to do business.
“They have loyal customers and a genuine community focus. Marymead would not be in the position we are without the support of local businesses such as Canberra Outlet,” Callaghan says.
“We are thrilled Canberra Outlet is supporting Dungeons and Dragons this Christmas. The program has so many benefits, it encourages teamwork, collaboration and problem solving, plus it helps to develop social skills in a fun and engaging way. Parents, siblings and friends come to play along, too.”
Canberra Outlet customers will have the opportunity to have their gifts beautifully wrapped and ready to go under the tree at the gift wrapping station located in the Premium Mall. The service is open from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Friday, and 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Children can visit Santa in his woodland forest, and say hello to the reindeers and rabbits on the way up the path to Santa’s sleigh.
Canberra Outlet representative, Claire Read says, “We know the cost of Christmas can be expensive enough without spending a lot on family Christmas photos, so here at Canberra Outlet, families are free to take as many photos as they like on their own camera or phones for a gold coin donation that will go towards Marymead’s Dungeons and Dragons program.
“Marymead is such a family-focused charity, they transform the lives of vulnerable children and young people and we are pleased to be able support them in this way. Our customers benefit from our gift wrapping service and a visit to Santa while knowing their donations will go directly towards helping young people in Canberra.”