A Note From Our Founder

charlie's gift founder, Shelly Spalding

Welcome to the Charlie’s Gift Community.

When my dad became ill with cancer, I experienced firsthand the benefits of local community support. I was so grateful to those in my father’s community who were on call when needed because his children and family lived out of the area. I continue to be thankful to this beautiful community which now gives my mother confidence that they are there to support her should she need them.

I was proud to be my father’s daughter when told by those in his community “how much he enhanced the lives of many locals dependent on others for their life quality and wellbeing”.

I am also grateful for all the lessons I learned from the older people I worked with in my past community occupational therapy roles. Because of them, I see older people as diverse individuals first and more senior second.

I knew establishing Charlie’s Gift would not be easy. Because creating change never is. It is my passion for us all to see older people as they see themselves…the same person they have always been with, possibly a few more life challenges; My innate belief is that confidence to age well is possible for us all. This enables me to rise to the challenges of changing perceptions of what it is to age and age with confidence.

In many ways, Charlie’s Gift is my gift to you, the people of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie communities. This is a gift of passion and empowerment to enable you to become part of the change you want to see. It is a change that will enable you, and those you love, the confidence to age well, knowing they are valued, supported and connected to their community.

Best Wishes