Community /
Our Foundation /
2020 /

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Popping into the corner shop for supplies is something most of us take for granted. But, imagine if picking up your bread and milk wasn’t so easy? For some students of Para Meadows School, crowds, noise levels and communication difficulties can make shopping a challenging experience. Now, thanks to funding from the IMB Bank Community Foundation, students at Para Meadows can develop their skills and build confidence in their own ‘Corner Shop’ as part of the Para Meadows Life Ready program.

Established in 1976, Wollongong’s Para Meadows School provides tailored education programs for 109 students aged 4-18 who are living with a disability, ranging from moderate to very severe. The school’s motto ‘Learning to Live’ speaks to the school’s personalised education programs and mission. Alongside the NSW school curriculum, students are taught the skills they need for life after school.

Relieving Assistant Principal, Candice Cross, says the Life Ready program is central to this, aiming to prepare and support senior students as they become more independent and gain more responsibilities.

“Life Ready focuses on offering opportunities for students to build the functional knowledge and skills for life after school,” Ms Cross said. “Our students learn effectively with hands-on activities, so creating a corner shop allows us to engage students in life skills such as shopping with a shopping list, exchanging money at a cash register, counting coins and notes in a real-life scenario.”

In addition to these skills, The Corner Shop project will also teach employment related skills including repacking shelves and tidying the shop. “We knew that our students would benefit from a hands-on learning experience such as 'The Corner Shop'”, said Ms Cross, “and we are so pleased that the IMB Community Foundation could see the potential in our project.”

Find out more about the work Para Meadows School does for children with special education needs.


Previous funding recipients

Farmborough Heights Rural Fire Brigade

A thermal imaging camera will enable The Farmborough Heights Rural Fire Brigade’s volunteer members to fully interpret a fire scene providing accurate situational awareness both day and night. It will also assist in search and rescue operations at any time and in any light conditions.

Giralang/Kaleen Men's Shed

The Giralang/Kaleen Men's Shed offers all men access to a range of activities including a woodworking workshop, garden, physical activity such as walking, and social interaction. Members will be trained in first aid to support shed members if needed.

Girl Guides Association of NSW

Building on a century of adventure, fun and friendship, Girl Guides empowers girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible community members. The project will allow Girl Guides to offer abseiling, high ropes and rock-climbing experiences in the local region providing opportunities for the girls to grow, learn and have fun in the outdoors.

See all recipients

Helping build and strengthen our local communities since 1999

As a mutual bank, supporting our local communities is important to us. We believe in supporting projects that foster inclusion, encourage volunteering and create sustainable outcomes, enabling the communities around us to thrive.

Over the last 20 years, The IMB Bank Community Foundation has invested over $10 million to support over 700 community projects. We’re very proud of the projects we’ve supported and each year we marvel at the wonderful achievements of our funding recipients.

These diverse and meaningful grassroots programs are found wherever IMB Bank operates — Sydney, The Hunter, The Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Far South Coast NSW.

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Established in 1880, IMB Bank is one of the most enduring financial institutions in the country, helping people achieve their financial goals for over 140 years. Our members can access a fully featured range of services: home and personal lending, savings and transaction accounts, term deposits, business banking, and more.

Our renowned personal service is backed by innovation, providing convenient, secure digital banking options where and when you want it. IMB also has a growing retail branch network throughout NSW and Victoria, for when you need to speak to someone in person, and a team of professionals at our locally based contact centre. We have a lending specialist in every branch and a team of mobile lending specialists who will come to you.

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