8 Apr 2024

Emergency fundraising drive saves StarJam

1:03 pm on 8 April 2024
Two StarJam attendees.

The emergency appeal - 'SOS - Save Our StarJam' was launched on Tuesday after StarJam was faced with a shortfall in funding. Photo: Supplied / StarJam

StarJam, a charity dedicated to empowering young people with disabilities through music and dance, will remain open after the success of an emergency appeal.

In less than a week, the not-for-profit raised more than $165,000.

The emergency appeal - "SOS - Save Our StarJam" was launched on Tuesday after StarJam was faced with a shortfall in funding.

Chief executive Gilli Sinclair said the campaign had not only been a vital lifeline in terms of funds, but it had also raised awareness about how important StarJam was in providing a safe and welcoming space for young people with disabilities to feel seen and to form authentic friendships.

"The support from the community has been incredible and unexpected. We achieved our $100,000 target and more. It has been a testament to our whānau coming together, along with the wider community who have shared the campaign widely and generously donated," she said.

"StarJam wants to thank its community, especially the Jammers (young people with disabilities who attend StarJam), their parents and caregivers, tutors and volunteers, staff and everyone who got behind the campaign."

A StarJam parent, Jacqui Hellyer, said StarJam was one of the most important things her daughter did.

"The thought of it not being available was unthinkable," she said.

"As a mum of a Jammer - thank you, thank you, thank you - to every single person who donated."

Sinclair said StarJam would continue to diversify its funding streams and was actively seeking new partnerships and initiatives to ensure sustainability for the organisation in the longer term.

"These are difficult times, but the doors must remain open for places that bring social connection and joy to Jammers and their whānau and we will work hard to achieve this at StarJam."