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The Pyjama Party Changing Lives

Bronwyn Sheehan created Pyjama Angels - volunteers who read to foster children for an hour each week. Angels, who give kids in need, the wings to fly.

Fifteen years on Sheehan tears up sitting next to her first Pyjama Foundation university graduate Narissa Anderson.

In foster care since the age of 10, Narissa met her Pyjama Angel Annie at 13, and over the next five years, they radically changed her path in life through simple weekly contact.

"Together we would work on my homework, we'd have a lot of chats about life and we'd also read together, taking turns reading to each other out loud," Narissa said.

Pyjama Angel Jorgia reading. Photo Supplied

Today as she works on her second University degree, Narissa is momentarily lost for words when asked how it changed her life.

"That's a really big question because it changed my life in a lot of ways.

"For me, Annie was emotional support, she was always there, I could confide in her, she always encouraged me - she was my biggest cheerleader.

"It took me from being a C-grade student who was really struggling at school but couldn't work out how to 'do' school in a way that reflected my interests and my desire to learn.

"I always loved learning but didn't have the skills to show that to my teachers and reflect that in my grades, but Annie supported me until I was doing school work by myself.

In 2004 Sheehan met a foster carer that set her on the path to create The Pyjama Foundation.

"She'd been a carer for 35 years and looked after 100 kids - she was Mother Earth, so self-sacrificing - I was totally blown away by how amazing she was," Sheehan said.

Both men and women are welcome to become Pyjama Angels. Photo: Supplied

"When they went to school for the first time they just learned to read overnight, just like magic, because they had the love of reading the love of learning.

She named her program - The Love of Learning.

Over the past 15 years, they've trained around 7000 volunteers, dubbed "Pyjama Angels" - in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. They are currently mentoring 1400 foster kids every week.

"I set goals when I first started and one of my goals was to have a child come through our program finish school and into university and this is the beautiful young woman sitting beside me, Narissa.

"I wished her into the Pyjama Foundation and here she is doing her second degree so I am incredibly, incredibly proud."

Most of her Pyjama Angels are full-time working women aged between 35 and 60, but anyone is welcome.

Network 10 has partnered with the Pyjama Foundation to help it change more lives for the better.