Heartwell Fitness Pty Ltd

Personal Endorsements

Royal Childrens Hospital Melbourne

To Whom This May Concern

The health of children with physical disabilities needs to encompass all facets of their lives in order that "good" psycho-social and physical wellbeing is promoted and achieved. Unfortunately access to community-based programs that develop the physical needs of children with disabilities are limited in Victoria.

To address this unmet need, the Heartwell Fitness Program was established by Scott Taylor and Julienne Espenschied in 1996. The Heartwell Fitness Program is a community-based program that offers a unique opportunity to children with physical disabilities by providing individual and group programs that encourage the development of their physical and motor skills. Working with the child's physiotherapist, the staff of Heartwell Fitness establish and monitor goals to improve their physical function over a 12 month period.

Parents report that their child's participation in the Heartwell Fitness Program has resulted in an increase in their physical skills and abilities. Improved fitness and endurance enable the child to participate more actively in school and other peer appropriate activities.

Another significant benefit has been the effect on their child's confidence and self-esteem. Often children with disabilities feel "singled out" at school. Heartwell provides these children with an opportunity to socialise with their peers which they often find very difficult in other settings. Improving these children's skills in physical function has in turn, improved their motivation and confidence.

I applaud the efforts of Scott and Julienne and their staff at Heartwell Fitness to meet the special needs of children with physical disabilities, particularly with respect to improving their physical skills, confidence and self esteem.

Yours sincerely

Anne McCoy
Director of Physiotherapy

Dear Julia,

I wish to extend my gratitude to you and Kraft Foods for the tremendous support that you have given my daughter Ali and the Heartwell program.

Whilst I realise that you receive letters of thanks from the children, I would also like to voice my own personal thanks. Heartwell has been an invaluable program for Ali and has in such a short time given her an amazing boost of confidence to be able to achieve the most simple of tasks, such as playing on the play equipment at school and being able to join in playtime activities and games with her friends. 

It is with new found confidence that Ali will surely benefit in all aspects of her life and in short are obtainable by the sponsorship of yourselves and the amazing work of the Heartwell Staff.

Please be assured that your sponsorship is appreciated in every way, not just by the children in the program, but by the parents who are overwhelmed by the progress our children are making.

Yours Sincerely

Crown Limited

Crown Limited began supporting Heartwell Fitness in 2001 and is proud to be involved in such a worthwhile program. Scott Taylor is the public face and our main contact for the program and is a very professional and impressive figurehead for the group.

Each year we have sponsored five children with the pleasurable awareness that we are making a difference to the lives of at least these few young people. The Heartwell Fitness Newsletter and progress reports on the children that we sponsor keep us informed of the achievements, as well as emotional highs and lows, of the participants. It is an inspiration to see theses children and the bravery and determination they have in achieving what, to most children, would be every day activities. 

Crown would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Heartwell team and all the children involved in this invaluable program on the fantastic results of all their hard work and dedication.

Royal Childrens Hospital Melbourne

Dear Scott

Thank you for your report regarding Charlie.

Mother was thoroughly delighted with the care and input you are providing. I can only say that of the parents I have referred, I have heard nothing but the highest praise for your professionalism and for your care of the children.

Keep up the good work.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

Cathy Marraffa
Child Development & Rehabilitation

Sara Lee - Household & Body Care


This letter is a formal endorsement of the Heartwell Fitness Program, based on the experience of Sara Lee Household & Body Care Australia.

Sara Lee Household & Body Care seeks to be an active participant in the community in which we do business. In looking for ways to give back to that community we come across a wide range of programs worthy of assistance. Of those which we try and support, one which is most gratifying is the Heartwell Fitness Program.

The benefit, which our involvement with Heartwell provides is unique among the many charities that we support. Involvement with Heartwell means very special involvement with an individual child and that child's challenges, goals and achievements can be readily identified. This unique nexus between our support and making a real difference gives a sense of satisfaction that is shared by all employees.

Sara Lee Household and Body Care sponsor Alison Gamble. Alison's story is known to our employees and her regular report cards, provided by Heartwell Fitness, are shared by our Executive Team who take very genuine pride in her progress.

I would be happy to talk in detail on the benefits which we believe Sara Lee Household & Body Care derives from being part of this wonderful program. I am contactable on Melbourne (03) 9262 2337.

Kind regards

Angela Lane
Director - Human Resources

Dear Scott

We are grateful for everything that your team has done so far this year for our nine year old daughter, Sarah.

When we first learned of the program from Dr Cathy Marraffa at RCH, we were very positive about the potential of the program to assist Sarah's physical development. Six months into the program, we are amazed at how Sarah's physical fitness has improved. Her self-confidence has grown as well.

The callisthenics have improved her strength. The ball skills training has meant that she has the confidence to participate in physical education classes. She is even "having a go" at soccer games at lunchtime. And this is a girl who, because of her oro-motor dyspraxia, could not jump or skip until she was seven.

Sarah's teachers have been amazed at her development this year. She is less tired at the end of the day and with the added strength she has gained, she seems to be able to "hold herself" and sit still for longer periods in class.

Our sincere thanks to you and your team for all the tremendous work you are doing, and for the lifelong impact that this will have on Sarah's development.

Yours sincerely

Alan and Lisa
Endorsement of the Heartwell Fitness Program on behalf of the Craigieburn Sporting Club

The Craigieburn Sporting Club is a huge supporter of the Heartwell Fitness Program. I first came across the program's existence at another venue when I noticed a picture of a child with a description of the disabilities and hardship the child and family deal with on a day to day basis.

Our venue prides itself on supporting sporting achievements and donating to community organisations that help families in need. The Heartwell Fitness Program brought to our attention the numerous children and families who are disadvantaged both physically and financially. The program allows children to seek the aid required, they otherwise would not be received due to the expense.

The Management of the program is the key to its success. In the short time the Craigieburn Sporting Club has been involved with the program, we have found it to be one of the most rewards tasks we have taken on. Part on the induction to the program is meeting the sponsor child and family which gives the program a personal touch and we also receive regular updates on the progress of "our" child.

The Craigieburn Sporting Club trusts the program will continue to grow and help many more families in need. We are a devoted supporter of the Heartwell Fitness Program and wish Scott and his team the very best in the future.

Keep up the good work Scott!

Craigieburn Sporting Club
Dear Scott and Julienne

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and let you know how valuable I have found your program. Since you first began to work with me three months ago, I have felt my whole well-being improve to levels I never thought possible in such a short amount of time.

To begin with, my physical fitness has increased tremendously. I currently live a very active life which required physical endurance and stamina, and I know that this has been made possible through the hydrotherapy sessions I have been involved in with you. My motor skills have also benefited from the therapy, as my walking has improved 400%, and my hand and arm coordination has also strengthened. 

I wish to commend you in your professionalism. Your dedication and support in what you do is regarded with high esteem. I have found your approach toward me and my therapy very encouraging, dignified and assuring. Your skills and knowledge is appreciated and evident in your response to my needs. I can see value of your expertise for many people in the community who may be experiencing some physical disability, be they children, adults or the aged.

On a personal note, I have benefited by the program in more ways than just the physical. I feel good about myself and what I am doing in my life. My confidence has increased which allows me to lead a rich and fulfilling life, one which was absent for some time due to my disability. Again, I want to thank you for this. You both have been wonderful and keep up the great work.

Yours truly


Dear Scott

Re: Sportsco Sponsorship

Since its inception in 1997, Sportsco has been an avid supporter of the Heartwell Fitness Program and it is with pleasure that Sportsco has once again made a commitment in making Heartwell Fitness the sole recipient of their corporate, community based program donation in 2002. Heartwell is about providing families with opportunities and "keeping active" - a focus synonymous with Sportsco.

The pure dedication of Scott, Julienne and their team should not go unnoticed. The Heartwell team's passion and involvement in each individual child's (and families) development and growth is truly inspiring! I have had the pleasure of meeting families of not only our own sponsored children but of other families involved with the program and it is easy to see what a positive impact sponsorship of a child has made to the lives of these families.

The key to corporate citizenry should be what Heartwell provides - interaction with the families of whose lives you make an impact - this personal interaction is somewhat unique in a corporate environment but one that does add perspective into our everyday lives!

I would highly recommend any organisation to support Heartwell Fitness - once you meet Scott and Julienne, there is no doubt that you will also experience the passion they hold for what they give to these children and once you meet the children, you will no doubt see what a fabulous organisation Heartwell Fitness is!

I would be delighted to talk to any organisation who are considering sponsoring a child and can be contacted on 0409 000 040.

Warm regards,

Kadri Kutt
National Marketing Manager


Over the past ten (10) years, I have become increasingly involved with the support of the Royal Children's Hospital. In particular, I have taken a specific interest in children with cancer, which has lead me to become a patron o Ronald McDonald House.

As a qualified physical educator, I have a strong belief in the benefits general fitness and motor skill development can have on an individual. Such benefits can be of even greater significance for children with special health needs, especially those who have had long periods with only minimal physical activity.

The Heartwell Fitness organisation have been providing a physical activity service specifically designed to meet the needs of those children who have missed long periods of formal education, particularly physical education. Their work has been well received by such children, their parents and medical staff, and has been an invaluable tool in the recovery process of seriously ill children.

During my association with the Royal Children's Hospital, I have witnessed first hand the positive effects that sport and physical exercise can have on children. Unfortunately, the services which the Heartwell Fitness organisation provide are reliant upon external sources of funding. The hospital is currently trying to establish an ongoing, professional relationship with a strong support base, which allow it to continue to supply these vitally important and necessary services.

I encourage those organisations who can provide assistance, enhancing the longevity of this program, to give due consideration to making a contribution where possible.

I wish all involved in the Heartwell Fitness program all the very best, and I thank them for all of their efforts towards the recovery of children with special health needs.

Andrew Gaze
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