On Thursday, BSSC’s Student Council held a sausage sizzle and raised $285 to help vision impaired students Josh Watson, Alayna Campbell and Kate Stevens realise their dream of travelling to Camp Joe in Canada next month.

A major corporate sponsor pulled out at the last minute, leaving the students just a few weeks to gain the funds needed to make the trip a reality.

The Canadian Institute for the Blind offered the Camp Joe program to 12 teenagers from Victoria and New South Wales to offer “life changing” outcomes.

Vision Australia occupational therapist Carlia Rix said a program of its type has never operated in Australia.

“This is the first time the program has been offered to students in Australia,” she said. “The camp is all about developing skills to help them gain employment or enter training after they finish high school.

“Statistics show that once they finish high school, visually impaired children face difficulty in finding employment.”

Josh, Alayna and Kate all need to raise $1500 to realise their dream.

Kate said the camp would be a life changing experience.

“Camp Joe will be an experience of a lifetime, I look forward to participating in recreational activities that I haven’t been able to before,” she said.

Josh said it would a chance to meet like-minded people. “The Canada trip to Camp Joe will help me to gain confidence and skills and hopefully a job, also making life-long friends,” he said.

Based in Ontario, the two-week camp develops pre-employment skills, offers public speaking opportunities, and a chance to interact with Canadian students. They will also learn how to apply for scholarships and training programs.

Camp Joe runs from July 23 to August 7.

To offer your support, visit www.visionaustralia.org/campjoe