The Light and Hope Clubhouse

A community to support recovery ​and build a rich and fulfulling life

The Light and Hope Clubhouse is a ‘global’ network, providing a vital service and venue/facility that offers care and specialised help to the many people today, in communities around the world suffering Mental Health issues and Depression.

Clubhouses are part of an international program where people with mental illness join as members with the aim of improving their employment, education, recreation and productive activities of everyday living. Clubhouses differ from traditional services in that members and staff work alongside each other whilst carrying out the daily duties of the Clubhouse. There are a set of international standards for Clubhouses and over 300 Clubhouses worldwide, across approximately 28 countries.

About the Light & Hope Committee

The Light & Hope Committee was founded in 2005 in the Illawarra. During this period a wonderful facility was initiated by the Light & Hope Committee that has provided a comfortable and purposeful Clubhouse, situated in the Lutheran Church Hall in Wollongong.

Professor Frank Deane, Director of Illawarra Institute for Mental Health and Professor in Psychology at the Wollongong University, is now the Chairman of the Highlights on Mental Health Steering Committee. Although the Clubhouse facility has been initiated here in Wollongong through the committees’ dedication and efforts, it has been unable to sustain more than two days per week.

Fundraising for the clubhouse

In 2013 The Committee set out to implement new ideas to raise funds to enable the Clubhouse to sustain these two days per week, and possibly to increase the operative days for those in need.

This lead to the appointment of internationally acclaimed hair fashion styling icon, Robyn David te Velde, who successfully founded the 2013 Highlights on Mental Health Campaign, supported by the Light & Hope committee. Fundraising was initially achieved through Leading ‘Highlight’ Salons across the Illawarra, enhanced by a six week partnership with the Illawarra Mercury.

Hairdressers are quite well recognised as the unofficial psychologist – and salons generally offer a happy and caring experience for their clienteles. Subsequently the salon based campaign raised $80K in just two years, which successfully extended the Light & Hope Clubhouse operation.

As the Campaign Creative Director, Robyn has continued to build on the Salon Fundraising Campaign, and in 2015 took a giant leap to incorporate the Modelling and Fashion Industry in an effort to broaden awareness, engage the wider community – and increase fundraising prospects.

Illawarra’s Top Model

Illawarra’s Top Model, launched in 2015 was an outstanding success, raising $50K on its own, contributing to the  total funds raised to date – now $180K.

As President and Creative Director of a newly formed distinguished fundraising committee, Robyn te Velde will drive the campaign dedicated to this important cause… with the support of our valued sponsors. Together with community support we are confident the dynamics of this year’s events will spearhead the campaign to another level this year. A partnership has been established with media partners WIN TV, i98FM and the Illawarra Mercury and the Campaign is now well positioned to surge ahead in 2016.

Where do funds go?

Our campaign donates directly to the Mental Health Club House and to Respite for Young Carers in the Illawarra under the Auspice of the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW.