Carols in the Valley raises funds for disadvantaged youth
Over 300 people combined their love of adventure activities and Christmas carolling on 16 December to help raise funds to support young people most in need.
Held in the idyllic grounds of Wesley Vision Valley, in Sydney’s north-west, Carols in the Valley raised funds for Wesley Operation Hope, a 12-week adventure therapy program designed to help disadvantaged young people, aged 12-17, to develop personal goals, leadership skills and self-awareness.
A number of students from Wesley Operation Hope took to the stage to perform at Carols in the Valley as a way to create awareness about the program, while also giving these young people the opportunity to build their confidence.
“The program is designed around adventure activities once a fortnight. Wesley Vision Valley has such a strong impact. The kids get to be in nature... nature is healing. The kids singing today, is due to an increase in confidence and that's why they are singing on stage this evening,” said Ashlea Abbott, Operation Hope Program Coordinator at Carols in the Valley.
Before the carols part of the event began, guests enjoyed the many outdoor activities on offer including a waterslide, canoeing, archery, flying fox, powerfan, jumping castle, petting zoo and craft. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Sydney, Wesley Catering and local food trucks, there were plenty of delicious treats on offer for guests to enjoy. Hope 103.2 radio presenters, Aaron and Clare also entertained guests as official MCs of Carols in the Valley.
Later in the evening, local Christian band, Chasing Light, opened the carols part of the event with some Christmas classics, including ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘The First Noel’. The audience then joined in as talented vocalist, Lauren Cassidy sang inspiring renditions of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘All I want for Christmas is You’.
At the end of Carols in the Valley, children were also surprised by a visit from Santa who arrived on a lawn mower.