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Salvos hit the right note with music tuition for struggling family

Helensburgh music tutor Alison Garvie jumped at the chance to help a struggling family with piano tuition.

A partnership between 2508 Salvos in southern Sydney, the local Salvos Store and a generous music teacher has resulted in a local child accessing piano lessons.

The primary school-aged boy realised his love for music when visiting a friend’s home and noticing a keyboard. He started to play and didn’t want to leave!

The boy and his sibling are cared for by their grandmother, who relies on Centrelink benefits, so they are financially unable to pay for after-school activities. The family is regularly supported by 2508 Salvos.

“One of the disadvantages of living in financial stress is that children often miss out on things that their peers take for granted,” said Lauren Martin, Mission Leader of 2508 Salvos, based in Helensburgh. “Things like weekend sport, swimming lessons, and after-school activities.”

“Here in Helensburgh and the surrounding suburbs, we like to support individuals and families holistically, and we work with the local community in caring for each other. With that in mind, I often partner with local businesses to see if they can provide subsidised services for locals in need, with The Salvation Army contributing to some of the cost and the family or individual also contributing, but at a lower amount than the advertised rate.

A partnership between a local Salvation Army mission expression, Salvos Stores and a generous music teacher is allowing a young boy to pursue his passion for playing the piano.

“When we heard about this boy’s love of music, I approached a local music tutor to see how we could work together to support him.”

That music teacher is Alison Garvie, who jumped at the chance to help. “I love to teach, and if there’s an enthusiastic kid out there that wants to learn and can’t afford lessons, I’m happy to help,” she said, adding that the boy is fun and creative and enjoying learning C-intervals and reading music.

Lauren spoke to her local Salvos Stores about the potential for sourcing a donated keyboard to assist in his learning. Area Manager Dale Cheetham put a call out throughout the area, and a few weeks later, a good-quality keyboard and stand was delivered by Salvos Stores truck to the Helensburgh store with a note to say it had come from Nowra Salvos Store on the South Coast, to be used for the mission.

“What a delight it was to deliver that keyboard and stand!” says Lauren. “His grandmother contacted me later in the afternoon to say that the boy had been using it for hours.”

His grandmother says if it weren’t for the Salvos and Alison’s generosity, she would never be able to afford for her grandson to pursue his passion for music. “He’s really getting into it,” she said. “There’s one classical song, and he’s getting really good at it. It’s something positive to do with his time.

“It’s his special thing.”

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