The New Kids on The Block

A Collaboration Like No Other. 

A project long on our wish list and months in the making came to fruition in March 2018 in the gold rush boom town of Bendigo.

In late 2017 we received a call from Channel 9 to say, after many years, a partnership between Kids Under Cover and The Block was about to bloom.

We were going to be on The Block! Did we hear right? We were going to be on The Block? Aligning what we do with a reality show focussed on renovation was a dream come true, but one with such a significantly high profile nationally was hard to believe.

Featuring in week three as the “Charity Challenge” meant our work would feature on almost one million television sets around the country.  Money can’t buy that kind of exposure and we are eternally grateful to Channel 9 for their belief in our programs.

Contestants had their work cut out for them at the Bendigo Showgrounds as they faced a Kids Under Cover Studio Challenge, shining a light on the issue of youth homelessness.

All five teams were forced from The Gatwick when the site was shut down and sent on a road trip to Bendigo for a mystery challenge. Upon arrival at the Showgrounds, they were greeted by our very own CEO, Jo Swift alongside the show’s hosts Scotty Cam and Shelley Craft.

After an introduction to our work from Jo, teams slept in the studios before taking on the challenge to style and fit-out their one-bedroom studios.

With just eight hrs to shop, paint, install flooring, window coverings and furnish the studios the BLOCKheads certainly had their work cut out for them.

Each team were given a client profile for the young person receiving the studio. Keeping to this brief influenced many of the final design decisions. Making for some very specific and special purchases.

True to the challenging circumstances of reality TV the BLOCKheads raced to the finish line, with all-hands-on-deck to complete the studios before “Tools down” was called. The studios were then critiqued by guest judges, Aliesha and Teagan Newman.

And who better to judge the studio challenge than two young people who know what it’s like to live in a Kids Under Cover studio? These sisters know only too well the difference a studio can make.

After inspecting the five studios alongside Jo and host of The Block, Shelley Craft, Aliesha and Teagan had the tough decision of deciding who would win the Kids Under Cover Challenge.

South Australian couple Kerrie and Spence were crowned the winners, having created a beautiful space for a 17-year old girl in desperate need of some privacy and stability, her own space to feel safe and belong.

A project of this magnitude doesn’t happen without the support of a community who cares and shares our vision.

There are many people to thank. Firstly, to The Block & all contestants, thank you for raising awareness of our work and the issue of youth homelessness.

We would also sincerely like to thank Gandel Philanthropy who continue to support our vision of a community where no young person is homeless. Gandel Philanthropy generously funded four of the five studios used for the project.

Our very own Studio Program team worked tirelessly to match approved studio applicants with these five studios and coordinate the complicated installations to finalise the project.

Not a simple task considering each studio needed to be craned into place after the challenge in Bendigo.

Big thanks to long-time friends Harris HMC and the team at Ortech Industries who provided an enormous amount of support leading up to the project and on-site in Bendigo. The team at Harris HMC also lending a hand to ensure each studio was installed safely at its final destination.

And the collaboration didn’t end there.

Our friends from Sensum put us in contact with The Grove Group, knowing we needed a bit of help to put the studios in place. The team at Grove generously stored the five studios and donated their time & services to install them. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Support from organisations like these makes it possible for us to provide studios for young people at risk of homelessness. Everyone involved went above and beyond to ensure this project was delivered without a hitch, and for that, we will be forever grateful.

All five studios are now supporting five at-risk young people and their families. And they are already making a significant difference.

     

The studio challenge episode aired across two nights on The Block – Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 August – READ MORE 

 

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