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We love sharing news about our work and research, as well as the life-changing experiences that young people enjoy on our adventure programs.



Westpac Foundation Community Grant 2021

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

We recently received exciting news that The Helmsman Project has been selected to receive a Community Grant from the Westpac Foundation for 2021. 

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Reflections on our 8-year journey

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

It’s been eight years since my first meeting with Andrew (co-founder), and The Helmsman Project has empowered over 1,000 young people to develop fundamental life skills. Many of these young people have had their life trajectory completely turned around. I am proud and humbled to have been part of their journey with our team. 

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Do you know a school that needs The Helmsman Project?

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

Supporting young people's mental health and wellbeing has never been more important than now. Do you know a school that needs support in providing wellbeing initiatives to its students? 

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Our impact in students' words

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community, Life skills 

In order to truly understand the impact of our wellbeing program, we share with you a handful of student responses...

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EOFY Appeal

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

Financial support from the broader community has never been so critical for not-for-profits. Every donation goes a long way in allowing us to support young people who are experiencing disadvantage and struggling to overcome the many hurdles presented to them in today's world.

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Endeavour Energy Partnership

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

We are very excited to announce the renewed support of Endeavour Energy as a funding partner of The Helmsman Project.

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Danks Trust Partnership

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community, Fundraising 

We are very excited to announce the renewed support of Danks Trust as funding partner of The Helmsman Project.

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Together, making a difference

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

Last week was National Volunteer Week, a time to stop and share a huge thank you to all of our volunteers.

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Big shout out to EG

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community

The student workbook is an essential component of our new program and the graphic design team at our funding partner EG added just the right pizzaz to make it pop...

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Seeking: photographer and videographer

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

Are you a photographer or videographer? Or both? We're looking for a talented volunteer to help us capture photos and videos of our new Wellbeing and Community Leadership program.

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Meet our new facilitators

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching , Community

With great pride we introduce to you our new facilitators. These facilitators will run our new program, set to launch in a matter of weeks.

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Human-centered design: a case study from the for purpose sector

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Research 

This case study provides an overview of the collaborative process our team undertook with partner schools over the last 12 months, and reflections on the hurdles and support we experienced as we embarked on this human-centered design project.

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Giving Tuesday: inspiring all to give back

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement celebrated annually in December. The day was created to remind and energise all people to give back to community and do good for the world.

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From scarcity, grows ingenuity

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Kim reflects on her family as a source of inspiration for creativity and ingenuity. When resources are scarce, the greatest ingenuity and innovations can arise.

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Funders spotlight: Atlassian Foundation

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

Atlassian Foundation has long supported The Helmsman Project including as a funding partner. Atlassian Foundation shares a commitment in wanting to support young people.

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Words from a coach

  • Written by Belinda Robinson
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching , Community

Belinda Robinson joined our team of professional coaches in 2020. She reflects on her first coaching experience on our programs, and the unique impact Covid-19 had on her experience.

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2020 workshop pilot

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching , Research 

The Helmsman Project team has been very busy this year working on a human-centred design project in collaboration with high school partners to help us test and evaluate new potential offerings to address key challenges schools face in supporting young people. 

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My eight COVID leadership lessons

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: Coaching , Community, Life skills 

At the core of our programs are two fundamental methodologies: experiential learning and reflective process. Using these processes Kim reflects on leadership lessons from COVID.

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Enabling young people with essential life skills

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Adventure education , Coaching 

Our program offers a blend of developmental coaching and adventure education targeted towards young people who are at risk of not realising their full potential.

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Ceo video blog: Resilience

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

In psychology, resilience is the capacity to bounce back from adversity, conflict, and failure or even positive events, progress, and increased responsibility. For our team, resilience is three things: welcome challenges, bounce back and be courageous.

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Breaking silos in isolation

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: Community

Kim reflects on how the 'water cooler conversations' and the benefits of those interactions don't exist in a work-from-home environment. The random, unplanned chats can often be one of the ways in which information flows between departments, collaboration ideas spark and organisational culture thrives. So how can we create a ‘water cooler’ effect in a remote working environment?

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Celebrating seven years

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Wednesday, 22 July marked seven years of The Helmsman Project delivering life-changing programs to young people. We’ve come a long way since 2013 and while many aspects of our organisation have changed and grown over the years, we are proud to stick by the same mission: to help young people develop the skills and perspective to set goals, overcome setbacks, persevere and thrive.  

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Program update: One-to-one coaching

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching 

Right now, some students are doing it tough. And as we haven't been able to set foot in our partner schools since March, we've developed an initiative to provide our much needed support to those students in need. 

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CEO video blog: Self-regulation

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

One of our values at The Helmsman Project is self-regulation, which is also a life skill we help our young participants develop and is a critical leadership tool.

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CEO video blog: Hope

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Our CEO Kim Larochelle shares how the value 'hope' helps frame her leadership and management strategies.

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Covid-19 and its impact on schooling, teaching and wellbeing

  • Written by Matthew Robinson
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching , Community

COVID 19 has had and is continuing to have a significant and substantial impact on the education of billions of students around the globe. Schools have been closed and teachers have had to develop remote educational experiences and content, almost overnight, using new and at times unfamiliar online technologies.

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The silver lining

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

As the reality of self-isolation, social distancing and home schooling sets in, I can’t help myself but to think that some positive - dare I say, great - things will come out of this dire situation.

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Supporting Adolescents and their Wellbeing

  • Written by Matt Robinson
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching , Community, Life skills 

Our organisation has been working with young people for nearly seven years, supporting them to maintain a positive wellbeing, and we would like to offer families some of our expert knowledge in this space.

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Design thinking and team-building workshop

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Coaching , Community, Life skills 

Three of our groups were fortunate enough to attend a design thinking and team-building workshop hosted by Amazon Web Services Australia.

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Appreciative Inquiry: a leadership technique during uncertain times

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community, Life skills 

As the world faces unprecedented events due to coronavirus, 'business as usual' is disrupted. Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths-based leadership technique to engage in meaningful, positive conversations in support of successful change initiatives.

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When innovation and change collide

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: Coaching , Community, Life skills , Research 

Innovation has become a positive buzzword in the business world. Everyone wants to innovate. Change, on the other hand, is this confronting state we need to try and 'manage'.

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Leadership and Innovation Series Part One with Dr. Sean O'Connor

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Coaching 

On Wednesday 19 November 2019, we hosted an event featuring Dr. Sean O’Connor who spoke on the topic of effective approaches to organisational change. Dr. Sean O’Connor presented an incredible seminar on how to effectively coach people and organisations through change, with a focus on his breakthrough PhD research ‘The Coaching Ripple Effect’.

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The year to come

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Coaching , Community, Fundraising , Research 

As we welcome a new year, Kim gives an overview on how The Helmsman Project is kickstarting 2020.

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Work Skills with Endeavour Energy

  • Written by Leanne Pickering
  • Category: Coaching , Community, Life skills 

The Technical Training Branch at Endeavour Energy conducted a 6-week program with some Year 9 Helmsman students. The program was designed to teach skills to manage risks, build confidence and prepare young people for employment.

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2019 Graduation

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Adventure education , Coaching , Community, Life skills 

On Wednesday 4 December, The Helmsman Project celebrated 63 young people from schools across Western Sydney completing our program. The Helmsman Project graduation is a highly anticipated event. It gives everyone an opportunity to hear directly from the students the impact the program has had on them.

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End of year reflections

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community, Fundraising 

As we farewell another year, the time is ripe to take stock on where we are...

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Words from a Principal

  • Written by Zena Dabaja
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

Zena shares her reflection on the impact The Helmsman Project has not only on the participants, but the surrounding community.

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Birrong Girls Community Project

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Coaching , Community, Fundraising 

We have received excellent news from our Birrong Girls group who recently held a fundraising event as part of their community project. 

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Westpac Foundation Community Grant 2019

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

We recently received exciting news that The Helmsman Project has been selected to receive a Community Grant from the Westpac Foundation for 2019. 

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Change leadership - how to lead our teams through change

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: Fundraising 

Whether we talk about technology, climate, politics, global demographics, the way we consume or socialise, the rhetoric is the same: change is now the norm. In this reality, some see the opportunities, others are left behind.

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5 tips to align corporate giving with employee engagement

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

In my six years in the not-for-profit sector, I’ve come across really successful examples of corporate foundations engaging their employees in their community objectives. The best of these managed to not only generate a sense of purpose among their employees, but also made a tremendous impact on the charities they supported.

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Design thinking for youth

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: Coaching , Community

Kim's summary and reflection on attending the community project workshop day for our second wave of programs in 2019.

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Our impact in our graduates’ words

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

The Helmsman Project started as a vision to help young people achieve their potential and make a difference in the world. This vision was brought into being through the passion and dedication of a team of people committed to this idea. Now, six years on, we know our program makes a difference in the lives of our participants not only because that’s what our research tells us, but most importantly, because our graduates tell us it does.

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Celebrating six years

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Monday 22 July marked six years since the launch of our very first Helmsman Project program and we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our journey.

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Words from a coach

  • Written by Matt Robinson
  • Category: Coaching 

Matt Robinson has coached on a number of The Helmsman Project programs since 2016 and has recently joined The Helmsman team. Here's a reflection from Matt on his coaching experiences with young people in Western Sydney.

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7 strategies for scaling up

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Kim outlines The Helmsman Project's key focuses underpinning the goals of scale and growth.

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2019 Goodman Foundation bake-off

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community, Fundraising 

On Friday 21 June, Goodman Foundation hosted their annual bake-off fundraiser in support of The Helmsman Project.

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Does size matter?

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Kim addresses the challenges faced by charities in Australia, touching on how The Helmsman Project manages these and the important role of strategy. 

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Volunteer Spotlight

  • Written by Bindi Newman
  • Category: Coaching , Fundraising 

Bindi Newman volunteered with The Helmsman Project coaching team in 2018, coaching on one of our programs with Strathfield South High School. Here's Bindi's reflection on her experience coaching with us.

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Work experience week

  • Written by Jemma Gilligan
  • Category: Life skills 

Jemma joined The Helmsman Project for a week of work experience in October 2018. Jemma reflects on the valuable experiences and lessons she gained during her week with us.

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Experiencing our community project

  • Written by Robert Milne
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Community

In my first week at The Helmsman Project I was lucky to visit the schools and meet the students enrolled in our programs. One of the highlights of The Helmsman Project’s program is the community projects which students plan and commit to once the program concludes....

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Message from our CEO - July

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

This month, The Helmsman Project turns five - an achievement that would not have been possible without the generosity and commitment of many…

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Volunteer spotlight

  • Written by Craig King
  • Category: Community

We are so fortunate at The Helmsman Project to be assisted by dedicated, professional and skilled volunteers. We interviewed Craig King, Senior Graphic Designer at Goodman, who designs collateral on a variety of projects for us, and asked him about why he enjoys working with The Helmsman Project.  

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Volunteer spotlight

  • Written by Sean Tedi
  • Category: Coaching 

Sean shares his passion for volunteering, his personal drive to give back to community and why he chooses to volunteer with us.

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Message from our CEO - May

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Innovation and growth can only happen when the client's needs or desires are understood. With this thought in mind and in line with our aspiration to continue to impact the lives of our graduates, we recently launched a new and exciting initiative...

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Message from our CEO - March

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

We have recently held our fourth annual charity dinner, presented at The Funding Network’s Macquarie Foundation event and launched our 10th wave of programs. Amongst all this, we have developed, refined and launched a five-year strategy to support The Helmsman Project to grow and prosper into the future...

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Volunteer spotlight

  • Written by Sheena Polese
  • Category: Coaching 

Sheena Polese, one of The Helmsman Project's 2017 volunteers of the year, shares with us what she loves about coaching with The Helmsman Project.

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CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE 2018

  • Written by Sam Evans
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

This year is The Helmsman Project’s fifth anniversary and our organisation has seen many changes as it continues to evolve and develop further into new programs and opportunities. We have seen changes in management, staff, and programs, coupled with increased corporate sponsorship. Most importantly, we have witnessed vast changes in our most recent cohort of graduates.

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Creativity and coaching

  • Written by Charmaine O'Brien
  • Category: Coaching 

Coaching Manager Charmaine O'Brien shares her insights on creativity and its links to coaching and The Helmsman Project.

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Launching the youth board

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

We are very excited to be launching a brand new opportunity for graduates of our programs: The Helmsman Project youth board.

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Message from our GM - November

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

Innovation is at the heart of The Helmsman Project. In line with this focus, we recently held a panel discussion on ‘Innovation in the workplace’ featuring three world leaders in technology: Atlassian, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. It might be surprising to hear that the main topic discussed wasn't technology...

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Volunteer spotlight

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Community

We are so fortunate at The Helmsman Project to work with a group of dedicated, professional and skilled volunteers. In this blog, we speak to Corinne O’Sullivan, one of our amazing volunteers, on why she loves sharing her time and talent to helping The Helmsman Project.

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Message from our GM - September

  • Written by Kim Larochelle
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project 

The Helmsman Project celebrated four years of operations last month, a milestone to which more than 120 volunteers have contributed and which has impacted just over 300 young lives. It has been no small feat - hope, self-regulation and resilience have been essential ingredients to our progress.

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What can’t be taught in a classroom

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Adventure education , Coaching , Life skills 

Young people who have been affected by disadvantage have had many experiences that required them to develop a range of coping mechanisms, many of which are admirable life skills. However, it is typical for young people in these circumstances to experience lower levels of support, which makes it difficult for them to realise they possess these valuable attributes.

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How the Helmsman Project creates lasting impact.

  • Written by Dr Michael Cavanagh
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Life skills 

The Helmsman Project is an innovative blend of developmental coaching and adventure education targeted toward Year 9 students who are at risk of not fulfilling their potential. At its essence, the program seeks to help the students take bigger perspectives on themselves, others and the world. By doing this we help them build hope, self-regulation and resilience.

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Words from a proud Principal

  • Written by Simon Paterson
  • Category: Life skills 

For a community like mine, the Helmsman Project provided opportunities for learning and growth that go beyond what we can deliver at school or at home. This wonderful program unearths hidden strengths and talents, which my students will take with them into their adult lives.

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Self-regulation. What is it?

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Adventure education , Life skills 

According to some researchers, self-regulation is one of the most important factors for encouraging academic engagement and preventing risky behaviour. While this is a skill that is important in every stage of life, it is particularly important for young people who are making critical decisions about their futures.

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What's in a name?

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: About The Helmsman Project , Adventure education , Life skills 

For those who aren’t familiar with the word ‘helmsman’ it can be a little bit of a tongue twister. The ‘helm’ is what steers a ship, usually it’s a wheel. The ‘helmsman’ is the person in charge of steering the ship. He or she guides the rest of the crew to reach their destination.

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Shop. Save. Run. Fundraising made simple.

  • Written by The Helmsman Project
  • Category: Fundraising 

As a not-for-profit, The Helmsman Project relies on the generosity of organisations and individuals to make a difference in the lives of young people from communities affected by disadvantage. Every dollar counts so we have come up with a few simple ways you could fundraise for The Helmsman Project.

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