Get Involved

Take the Initiative! Meet others with HSP and Help build the Community!


Make contact with other community members

People often say they would like to find other HSPers to chat or socialise with. There are three ways to do that.


Social get-togethers are held several times a year, spread between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, along with the occasional regional event. These are organised by community members at disability friendly facilities such as restaurants and hotels and make for a lot of fun and interest for people who go along.

The Foundation assists by communicating the details of these events to local members by email… Just another good reason to make sure that you are a signed up community member and have given us a current working email address.


The Foundation has a Facebook page with around 600 active users. This is another good platform for meeting people and social interaction… discussing news and issues of interest to people in the HSP community.

Finding people close to you

Another way to find people near you, build community and strengthen your support network is as simple as sending us an email saying, “Hey, I’m Jean from Echuca – if there’s anyone within an hour or two of me who would like to get together, send me an email or phone me”. The Foundation will then circulate a targeted email to people who live near you with your message inviting them to make contact with you.


Social gatherings & Community Events

Social gatherings and community events present an opportunity for fundraising.  You don’t need us to tell you of all the ways to do this:

  • Facebook or other social media fundraiser. Ask people to give to HSP Research, rather than presents at birthday parties, family get-togethers and Christmas. People can give securely online.
  • Sausage sizzle at a sporting event, market or community gathering
  • Garage sale
  • Cake or biscuit bake
  • Sponsorship for a walk or run, bike ride, horse ride, car rally or golf day
  • Coin box at an event or on the counter of the local pharmacy, petrol station, pizza shop or supermarket
  • Gold coin day at a function, meeting, school or group you belong to.

Think about it next time you are involved in something.  If you think you might need a receipt book for larger amounts, just email us and we will send you one.

Local organisations

Local organisations often do one or more fundraisings for charity each year – service clubs such as Lions and Rotary, RSLs and other clubs – garden clubs, car clubs, sporting clubs, bridge clubs, bowls clubs, and so on.

Sometimes they raise funds for their own organisation but give some of that to a charity.  Other times they are happy to run a special event just for a charity. We can provide support materials to publicise HSP and the funding of research to find an effective treatment.

Contact your local organisations and see if they will help out. Get involved, get your family and relatives involved with local clubs and community groups and make them aware of HSP and the HSP Research Foundation. Put the HSP Research Foundation on the ‘radar’ of your local community group!

Company Giving & Employee matching programs

Business organisations appreciate the need to be, and be seen as, good members of their local community.  This may take the form of a working bee to paint the hall or clubhouse of a sporting club, organising a day outing for disadvantaged kids or a company giving program where a percentage of profits are gifted to charity.

Employee matching programs are becoming increasingly popular, where employees initiate fundraising for causes of their choice and the company matches their fundraising on some basis such as dollar-for-dollar. Ask the company you work for about giving or employee-matching programs and let us know!

Shop at Ritchies IGA supermarkets or liquor stores

Ritchies will donate 0.5% of the total spent in all their stores across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland where HSP Research Foundation community benefit cards are presented at the checkout (the total spent across all stores must reach $2,000 in any given month).

Get your Ritchies IGA community benefit card

  • Ask for your free Community Benefit Card at a Ritchies IGA supermarket or liquor store, quoting HSP Research Foundation, number 93860.
  • Your Ritchies Community Benefit Card will be issued on the spot and can be used immediately!
  • You can choose to have a tag for your key ring or a plastic card. You might prefer one of each. The card or key tags are free and the choice is up to you.
  • Every time you shop, present your key tag or card at the checkout and 0.5% of the total you spend goes to the HSP Research Foundation.
  • Check out your nearest store location. <>

 Ask everyone you know to sign up

Tell your relatives, neighbours, friends, work colleagues and others in your community about it and ask them to shop at Ritchies IGA supermarkets and liquor stores to help raise funds for HSP research.

Community members Leanne and daughter Aleacia from Narre Warren in Victoria were the first to get their card and start to raise money for HSP research.

Leanne says, “Now anyone can support HSP research every time they shop at a Ritchies IGA. So, get into your local Ritchies IGA, get your card and start raising funds… and tell your friends!”.

Shop counter Donation boxes and Flyers

If you own or are involved with retailing, we can send you signage and flyers, and support you in getting a donation box set up on your counter.

There are DL sized flyers that customers can take with them. These carry the message about what HSP is, the importance of research and the need for funds for HSP research. E-mail us with your details to learn more.

Success stories

  • Natalie ran in Sydney’s City to Surf run to raise funds on behalf of her daughter.  Sponsors she rallied in her community contributed over $17,000 to the team.
  • Jason is a car club enthusiast, has HSP and has been a member of the Foundation since inception in 2005.  His car club, the Wollongong Street Machine, holds shows and events to display their much-loved, customised beauties.  From entry fees and sausage sizzles etc., the club gives to charities, including $500 to the HSPRF.
  • Col, who has HSP, and his wife Judy approached their garden club, of which they have been members for many years.  The club holds an Open Garden weekend every year and raises funds for worthy causes. Col and Judy told the committee about the Foundation and the club has contributed annually since.
  • Narelle had a 50th birthday coming up and invited 170 special people in her life.  She asked people to give to the HSPRF instead of presents.  Narelle’s husband Ian, who has HSP, wrote the receipts for $2,000.  Narelle urges everyone to do the same when a special occasion arises.  She said “We were overwhelmed by people’s generosity and we are sure you will be too”.
  • Roger has HSP and is an avid open water swimmer. He took on the massive challenge of swimming the 20 km between Perth and Rottnest Island to raise funds for HSP research. As if the distance wasn’t enough, the water is cold and home to the greatest population of great white sharks on the planet! And guess what… They swim without cages or enclosures! Roger and his team raised $8,000 in what is truly a magnificent feat.

Remember that the Foundation receives no financial support at all from the government.  Without members’ fundraising efforts there would be no Gene Testing Service, there would be no stem cell research towards a cure for HSP, no promising drugs in the pipeline and no clinical trials. Every cent counts in funding research …  An effective treatment is no longer out of reach!


HSP is a rare, low profile disease, not well known or understood in either the medical community, or amongst the population in general.

The more people are aware, the more funds we raise AND the more medical professionals become aware of HSP, which can only lead to better diagnoses and services.

You can start by spreading the word to family, friends and work colleagues. Many diseases, disabilities and illnesses such as MS, prostate cancer and cerebral palsy do not come to our attention unless we personally know of someone who is affected.  Otherwise we find out about them through the media, eg. Pink Ribbons for Breast Cancer Research.

So think about ways that YOU can help raise the profile of HSP:

  • Do you know of a newsletter or website to which you can contribute an article?
  • Get a story in a newspaper or magazine?
  • Talk to a service or community club about HSP?
  • Get a radio interview?
  • Is there a noticeboard at your local library, community centre, sports club or at your doctor’s, dentist’s surgery or chemist?

We also have printed cards and flyers that we are happy to send you to help promote an initiative or event. Email and tell us what you are planning and we will send you a package.

If you can find the opportunity but want some help with what to write or say, email us and we will help get the right message for the particular opportunity.