Running for a cause – raising funds to support vulnerable children and young people

Tristan Dumesny is going the extra mile – quite literally – to raise much-needed funds for Barwon Child, Youth & Family’s (BCYF) Out-of-Home Care program.

He will be attempting the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon on December 4, and is calling on the community to support his efforts by donating to BCYF’s 2021 Foster a Future Appeal.

All funds raised will support vulnerable children and young people in the Barwon region by assisting BCYF’s current and future foster care families to provide safe, more stable and longer term homes for children and young people needing care.

On average, BCYF receives three referrals per day to place children and young people with a Foster Carer. Approximately half of these requests cannot be met due to insufficient carers in the Barwon region.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the risk factors for families, and it is estimated that Victoria could have 27,500 children in out-of-home care by 2026; more than any other state and territory.

BCYF Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Morrison, acknowledged Tristan’s commitment to supporting children who are in care, and encouraged the community to get behind a worthy cause.

“We know that not everybody can commit to being a Foster Carer, but by making a donation, you are in effect giving the gift of a home for a child or young person needing care in our community,” Mr Morrison said.

“Taking on a 100km run is a huge achievement in itself, but by also raising funds for the Foster A Future Appeal, Tristan is making a very real difference to the lives of children and young people in need.

“Every child in our community should have a safe and stable home.”

Tristan and his partner Olivia are unable to be Foster Carers, but decided raising money was a way of still supporting vulnerable children and young people in the region.

Foster Care is an important cause for Tristan, whose mother Jo is BCYF’s Out-of-Home Care Manager. The first-time ultra-marathon runner is hoping to raise $7,000 for the Foster a Future Appeal, having already surpassed his original $5,000 target including his own matched donation of $1,000.

Funds raised will go towards helping to cover costs of educational and extra-curricular activities for children in care, providing blankets and wellbeing packs to help children feel safe, and providing respite and therapeutic support to enhance the wellbeing of foster families.

“Obviously watching my mum dedicate a big portion of her life to making sure kids have a safe, loving home has made me motivated to give back,” Tristan said.

“The Foster a Future Appeal is a way to give these kids the things we had when we were growing up, and thank the Foster Carers for the incredibly selfless position they undertake.”

In taking on the ultra-marathon, Tristan will attempt to run 100km of Surf Coast terrain, from some of the region’s renowned beaches to remote Otway wilderness.

“It’s a great feeling to push yourself to complete something you never thought you could, and it gives this run a lot more meaning to know I am doing it for kids who have had it very tough – not least through COVID-19,” Tristan said.

Support Tristan by making a donation online.

Find out more about BCYF’s foster care program online or by calling 5222 6911.

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