At the tender age of 31 years, surrounded by her loving family and friends, Katrina Louise Wakeling (nee Hastings) died in December 2009. Katrina had suffered a sudden and totally unexpected stroke during the night and despite every attempt to save her, Katrina left this world leaving behind her devastated family, friends, beloved soul-mate husband Lachlan and their adored 4-month-old son Lewis.
Driven by grief, Katrina’s Sparkle was founded by 15 of Katrina’s family and friends as a legacy to the life she lived – one of laughter, fun, passion, adventure, travel, integrity, profound love of family and a deep professional concern for the wellbeing and safety of others.
I found out more from her brother Simon who tells me the Foundation is now more purpose driven. Here is an insight of our conversation.
“She was my best mate, only 18 months older than me. I was about to commence study to become a paramedic at the time. Her passing meant we took on a lot of responsibility for Lewis. This was a steep and confronting learning curve for me as I had little experience caring for young babies.
“Katrina’s Sparkle aims to ensure that Katrina’s spirit will be kept alive and her memory will keep shining brightly. The foundation strives to create opportunities for people to come together learn, grow, give back and promote lifestyle beliefs based on the values she held in such high regard.
“One of our ongoing fundraising campaigns Ksafekids, providing paediatric first aid training, works to support the vision of Katrina’s Sparkle. The motto that drives this program is ‘A little knowledge can go a long way.’
“Our aim is to create a safer environment for children by empowering the community and enhancing the competence of individuals and groups who work with children. If people are in a financial position to pay for our courses that’s great because it covers the cost of instructors and resources, to then put 100% of the takings back into the space of kids safety, education and community development.
“We want to be able to supply our courses to parents, carers and grandparents of low socio-economic backgrounds at a heavily subsidised rate, and engaging clients, to partake in the for profit for purpose courses allows us to do that.
“My fiancée Amanda and I moved to Geelong 6 months ago and our son Alby was born. We are heartened by the sense of community and collaboration here.
K’Sparkle helps me connect to my sister, gives me purpose and I’m proud to introduce our social enterprise to my new hometown.”
The K’Sparkle website is being updated and will be available online soon.
Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photo: Supplied