The Legacy Week Appeal has been running since the 1940’s and is a time for all Australians to show their support for the widows and children whose loved ones have served our country. The Legacy Badge is a special emblem of support for our veterans’ families, symbolising our nation’s greatest values of mateship, compassion and fairness.
Legacy started in 1923 to support the families of those who never made it home from war. Today, Legacy has evolved to also support the families of veterans’ who have given their health in service to Australia.
Heidi and her boys are one of those families. Heidi is a navy veteran and single mum to Finn (12), Will (9), Hendrix (5) and Quade (4) – with her oldest two boys on the Autism spectrum. Before Legacy, she and her boys were doing it tough. Heidi had many sleepless nights worrying about how she could best provide for her family and their growing needs.
“The stresses of being a Mum, doing it alone, the special needs, and then being behind in bills. It’s probably the worst feeling,” says Heidi.
After being told about Legacy, Heidi contacted her local Club and found out that they could support her family – something that came as a massive relief.
Legacy has helped Heidi and her boys by assisting with bills, school fees and uniforms and even speech therapy lessons for Finn and Will. Legacy has also been able to provide the kids with a trampoline and specialised bikes so they can relax and have fun as a family. As a bonus, Heidi’s family has also found friendship and support with the Legacy volunteers and Legatees they interact with.
Legacy helps 43,000 partners and children nationally through their dedicated and caring volunteers – who they call Legatees – who provide personalised support for veterans’ families doing it tough. Depending on a family’s circumstance, it could be anything from helping with paperwork to making a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs, advocating on the family’s behalf, or giving them a person to talk with who has been through similar circumstances.
Finn and Will have also been able to experience Legacy camps, where they interact with other kids just like them. Clubs across Australia hold camps that are designed to make them feel happy and comfortable, while giving them a place where they belong.