Sharks Co-Captain Wade Graham was at Woolooware High School last week as an ambassador for Love Bites, a program supported by Sharks Have Heart which delivers respectful relationship education to local Sutherland Shire High School students.
Graham participated in the Love Bites session which is presented by Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) and aims to teach teens about the significance of healthy relationships.
A program created by the National Association of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), Love Bites involves trained facilitators who work in child protection, including police, counsellors and social workers and is based on best-practice standards for education programs as recommended by the federal government funded Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House.
Sutherland Shire Family Services has offered the free program to high schools in the Sutherland Shire since 2011, interacting and presenting to about 1200 students each year.
Having heard of the success of the program and the important messages it delivers, Graham was happy to join forces and volunteer as an ambassador with Love Bites to assist when and where possible.
The Sharks announced a Sharks Have Heart partnership with Love Bites at a special launch event back in February, attended by club officials, local politicians, businesspeople, representatives from SSFS, students and teachers.
As a part of the partnership, Sharks Have Heart and their platinum partner Capital Bluestone help to fund a part time Love Bites coordinator.
Love Bites has no ongoing government funding and relies on community partnerships and as a result of the Sharks Have Heart support, numerous Sutherland Shire High Schools will have access to and benefit from the program.
At the launch event earlier this year, SSFS CEO Di Manns explained how Love Bites works in simple terms.
“Love Bites works to deconstruct the myths that exist in the local community about domestic violence and sexual assault. The program was refreshed in line with community expectations in 2017, and the new program provides important messaging and education that is essential to helping young people grow and have respectful relationships,” Ms Manns said.
In line with this partnership and all Sharks Have Heart community programs and initiatives, the Sharks thank Capital Bluestone for their continued support
For more on Love Bites, go to the NAPCAN website – CLICK HERE
To learn more about Sutherland Shire Family Services and the work they do – CLICK HERE