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Josh Arieni 1992 – 2020

JOSH ARIENI ‘UNSUNG HERO’ LEGACY

 

Introducing our inaugural Josh Arieni Unsung Hero Legacy.

The Carers Foundation is passionate about supporting unpaid family carers.

For over 22 years, Ronnie and Michael Benbow have been providing life-changing and live-saving carers wellbeing programs for thousands of unpaid carers.

These unpaid carers who are caring for family members are saving the health system billions of dollars yet receive no or little government support to provide this care.

There are hundreds of thousands of young unpaid carers, under the age of 24 and some as young as eight, caring for their sick parent or sibling. The Carers Foundation provides unpaid family carers with programs to help them rest, restore their own well-being, and recover from the impact of caring.

Additionally each year, The Carers Foundation organises beautiful Christmas lunches for family carers since many will not get to experience or celebrate otherwise due to their caring responsibilities.

These Christmas lunches are on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Brisbane, and expanding to Toowoomba and the Central Coast, and each event is attended by approximately 80 or more unpaid carers. All Carers also receive gift bags since typically they won’t receive any gifts on Christmas day.

We believe all carers are amazing people and provide outstanding care for their family members, usually at the expense of their own wellbeing, social life and happiness. They do not seek thanks or acknowledgment and assume the role of a carer for someone they love without demanding anything in return. They all simply care and have their own stories to tell.

The introduction of the Annual ‘Josh Arieni UNSUNG HERO Legacy’ is to shine a light on these carers, acknowledge their stories and recognise those who may have had a particularly challenging year and say an extra ‘thank you’ for being an amazing person.

 

ABOUT SOLAR BOLLARD LIGHTING AND THE ARIENI FAMILY

 

Mike Arieni, Managing Director of Solar Bollard Lighting is a successful Brendale businessman who has focused on the growth, innovation and longevity of the world’s first and award-winning all-in-one Solar Bollard Light, commercialized in 2005.

Mike and Jo Arieni both have huge hearts and are passionate about supporting local not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

In 2020, Mike, Jo, and their family suffered an unimaginable loss when Mike’s son, Josh tragically died in a car accident.

Josh Arieni was a beautiful young man who had a kind heart and saw only the good in people. For several years he had helped his dad by taking on the role of a carer for his grandmother to keep her in the family home for as long as possible and maintain her quality of life and dignity.

The Unsung Hero Legacy is a fitting tribute to a wonderful young man and another way for the Arieni family to keep Josh in the hearts of everyone and have a positive impact on unpaid carers, the way Josh had a positive impact on everyone he met.

These awards are to acknowledge and raise awareness for family carers that go unrecognised in our communities, and most importantly to remember and honour a very special young man that was the light in everyone’s life – Josh Arieni.

The inaugural events were launched in December 2023 and were a huge success acknowledging carers from the Moreton Bay/Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, and Brisbane regions.

Next year they will expand to include Toowoomba, Sunshine, and Central Coast.

Family members, support workers, the public, or carers themselves will be able to nominate carers that deserve to be acknowledged and recognised for what they do with the events being held during our Carers Christmas lunches.

 

MORE INFORMATION WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN JUNE FOR THE 2024 JOSH ARIENI UNSUNG HERO LEGACY

LEGACY STORIES

In December 2023, The Carers Foundation Australia launched the Josh Arieni Unsung Heroes Legacy in memory of Josh. The program is supported by Mike and Jo Arieni to give back to unpaid carers in the community.

While the inaugural event aimed to support one carer, Mike and Jo generously ended up supporting an experience/ gift of their choice for three unpaid carers.

This month, our first carer, Louise took the opportunity to enjoy her experience. Louise has been the sole carer for over two decades for her son who has Lennox Gastaut syndrome, or beautiful syndrome as Louise calls it, because her son possesses such beauty inside.

Louise has always wanted to stay and enjoy Hastings Street, Noosa and enjoy a pamper day spa. The Josh Arieni Unsung Heroes Legacy was able to grant this wish for Louise in March, providing two nights away at the beautiful Sandcastles Noosa and a spa package at Noosa Springs Spa.

The Carers Foundation caught up with Louise to find out how much this experience meant to her:

“I feel very grateful, honoured and privileged to have been chosen as one of the Josh Arieni Unsung Heroes.

Being a Carer can be exhausting beyond words, isolating, lonely, frightening and draining.

To know that people care makes you feel less lonely and less isolated and supported which truly helps us to keep going.

To be given the opportunity to take one of my bucket list items and stay in a place I’ve dreamt off for 55 years and escape for a weekend and rest and just be me is hard to put into words, just absolute gratitude. It gave me the ability to come back to being a carer and get up each day and keep going.

Most of all this award is about remembering Josh and have his legacy live on and create awareness, which is something I’m very passionate about. I had a lovely time and feel rested, I feel very blessed and grateful.

I thought a lot of Josh and how this all came about and I’m glad that I can be part of his legacy.

Thanks to all who made this happen.”

We are so pleased you had a relaxing time, Louise.

A huge thank you goes out to Mike Arieni and Jo, Solar Bollard Lighting for bringing the idea of the annual Josh Arieni Unsung Heroes Legacy to us and supporting such amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our carers.

Thank you Noosa Springs Spa for giving Louise a memorable and relaxing spa experience.

A huge shout out for Shannon and Mark at Sandcastles Noosa for welcoming Louise and providing a last minute poolside upgrade after they received a cancellation. It just was the icing on the cake for Louise.

Thank you Alyce Renderos at B.OKideas for the surprise welcome gift pack waiting for Louise on arrival at Sandcastles Noosa.

Finally thank you to Caroline Lovett, Credible Source Solutions & the WOW! Awards for making all this happen smoothly!