It’s not your usual cake and party hats, but Gundog Estate will celebrate it’s 10th birthday in a very special way this year.
The boutique Hunter Valley wine producer has formed a partnership with Newcastle not-for-profit organisation Path 2 Change to help local homeless young people create sustainable futures.
The partnership will stretch across a number of projects, from work experience programs at Gundog Estate and mentorships for local youth at risk of or experiencing homelessness through to joint development of social enterprise concepts.
"As owners of a small business you travel a challenging personal journey and then suddenly you reach a point where you realise how privileged you are,” Gundog Estate winemaker Matt Burton said.
“Once you realise that, it becomes a really obvious path to find a way to give back to the community."
Mr Burton said to mark 10 years of Gundog, he “wanted to do something more” by putting a greater emphasis on the business’s role within the local community.
Path 2 Change is a not-for-profit organisation established more 35 years ago. It is committed to reducing and preventing homelessness, and supporting those at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, to overcome barriers towards a sustainable future.
“We’re excited by the way that Path 2 Change is involved at the grassroots level in the local area," Matt said. “We were looking for a charitable partner where we had an alignment and connection between ourselves, the organisation and those they are helping.
Path 2 Change executive manager Jennifer O'Sullivan commended Mr Burton’s decision to look for a partnership that has the potential to stop homelessness before it takes hold in a young person's life.
“It is inspiring that Matt and his team are leading the way by taking up the challenge of responding to homelessness at a community level by investing in our youth to create life changing opportunities,” Ms O'Sullivan said.
Fundraising for the Path 2 Change partnership kicked off at recent Gundog member events and Mr Burton said feedback on the partnership had been extremely positive.
“Not that our members needed another excuse to enjoy Gundog wines, but helping disadvantaged youth makes every drop extra special,” he said.