Get behind the Carinity Christmas Appeal

BRIGHT FUTURE: Makhala Swinson turned her life around with the help of Carinity's specialised youth counselling services.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Makhala Swinson turned her life around with the help of Carinity's specialised youth counselling services.

Beaudesert and Boonah not-for-profit community service provider Carinity has launched its annual Christmas Appeal.

This year, Scenic Rim residents are invited to help Carinity’s Youth Services continue to deliver mental, physical, emotional and financial support to teenagers in need.

These services include providing crisis accommodation and emergency housing for homeless youth, assisting young people with a disability, special assistance education for those who struggle in mainstream schooling and counselling for at-risk teenagers living with mental illness.

A Carinity spokesman said the services helped thousand of young Queenslanders who faced disadvantage.

“Our services make a real difference to struggling young people and help give them a brighter future. We often receive the same feedback from our grateful clients - ‘if it wasn’t for Carinity I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.

For many teens, life’s challenges can be overwhelming. Before seeking help from Carinity’s counsellors, Makhala Swinson was reclusive and battled suicidal thoughts.

“I was 14 and had been fighting at school when my school referred me to Carinity. A traumatic event in my life had caused me to become withdrawn and suicidal. I wasn’t eating properly and I was self-harming. I was ready to accept I had a problem and that I needed help. The counsellors gave me ways to talk to my parents about my problems,” Ms Swinson said.

Carinity’s counselling allowed Makhala to turn her life around by teaching her how to cope with challenges.

“For me, a big turning point in my life was when I was introduced to a timid horse with one eye, named Karma. I learned to ride and together we got better,” she said.

Now 26, Makhala is a therapeutic care worker who helps young people with mental illness. She hopes to start her own equine therapy program, using horses she rescues, to assist people facing difficulty.

Donate online at carinity.org.au/donations or phone 3550 3737.