Newcastle Permanent staff charity donations total $750,000 over two decades of fundingTopics

Are you someone who donates to a charity straight out of your regular pay?

CUDDLY CAUSE: Newcastle Permanent staff member Brianne Donald holds a bear with Toni Watson, vice president and co-founder of Bears Of Hope.

It seems a logical way to contribute to a worthy cause on a consistent basis, rather than ad-hoc donations to a bucket being carried around a supermarket, club or street.

The staff at Newcastle Permanent recently ticked over $750,000 worth of donations to local charities from money derived directly from their fortnightly pay.

The figure, reached over a 20-year period, has allowed more than 50 charities to be supported during that time.

Last week, Bears Of Hope –an organisation that supports families who experience the loss of a child through pregnancy or infancy – was handed $15,500 in funds from the pool of staff donations.

Four recipients are selected each year to support and are split over two rounds of funding.

The best part is, staff who contribute to the pool of money are allowed to nominate a charity of choice.

Participating staff then vote on the charities nominated to decide who receives the funding in each round.

Bears Of Hope was nominated by Newcastle Permanent staff member Brianne Donald, who received a Bear of Hope after her child past away.

“When we were given a Bear of Hope, which had been donated by another grieving family, we were reminded that there were others out there who had walked in our shoes,” Mrs Donald said.

“It gave us a keepsake to remember the life we had lost and comfort in knowing we were not alone.”

GIVING: Newcastle Permanent staff member Brianne Donald handing vice president and co-founder of Bears Of Hope, Toni Watson, a $15,500 cheque.

The money will help Bears Of Hope support 140 families through the giving of a bear, support resources and guiding parents through the process of leaving hospital.

Counselling and a grief workshop will also be able to be offered to parents free of charge.

The other recipient of a $15,500 donation in this round of funding is Little Wings, an organisation which provides regional and rural children with free flights and transfers from airports to hospitals.

They will be receiving their cheque from Newcastle Permanent staff on Monday at Maitland Airport.

“Newcastle Permanent is committed to giving back to our community,” Newcastle Permanent CEO Terry Millet said.

“Be it through our extensive corporate sponsorship and community programs, through the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, or through providing our staff the opportunity to donate their own hard-earned salaries to local charities that are important to them.

“For our staff to reach this significant donation milestone of $750,000 –and it be entirely made up from our staff’s own salaries – is remarkable and shows the generosity of our team.”

Does your workplace donate from your regular pay? Let us know.

LIFE IN A PIPE SOLID FOUNDATIONS: The water pipe designed for living in Hong Kong.

The tiny house movement.

Apparently it’s been booming, or should we say rooming, for the past few years.

For both economical and geographical reasons, houses designed on the minute scale have become a legitimate reality for many around the world.

The movement even garnered the production of two television programs in the US –Tiny House NationandTiny House Hunters.

And now, adesign company in Hong Kong believes they’ve come up with an answer to the country’s housing crisis.

Building on the tiny house movement’s foundations, architect firm James Law Cybertecture has created a stylish micro-house from a massive concrete water pipe.

Designed to accommodate one or two people, the 1000 square feet of living space comes with all the necessary amenities.

A living room bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, bathroom complete with a shower, and space for storage and belongings.

Business ownerJames Lawactually envisions entire tube communities installed in alleyways, under bridgesand other typically bare urban areas.

ROUND TOWN: Life inside the concrete pipe is full of mod cons.

Perhaps the only catch, if you view it as one, is the fact the house weighs22 tonnes.

But apparently they stack well on top each other.

While theNewcastle Heraldhas plenty of modern house reviews in its Weekender lift-out magazine, Topics is wondering whether there are any tiny house enthusiasts in the Hunter?

And not just a cubby house for the kids,aliveableabode…

If you know of one, give us a shout.