‘We need base of our own’

ALL TOGETHER NOW: People with disabilities and their carers want a place where they can socialise and learn together in Narooma.
ALL TOGETHER NOW: People with disabilities and their carers want a place where they can socialise and learn together in Narooma.

People living with a disability in Narooma need a place to call their own.

That’s the message from a concerned group of residents, after their previous day program was closed this month. 

The group is now on the lookout for a new home, one that will allow stability, routine and – all importantly –socialisation and education.

Chris Hall, the stepfather of one of the affected people, said this group had been together for several years.

“All these guys and girls have been together for a long time, and have a very solid friendship,” he said. 

“You can't break these guys up. A lot of these people, once they're set on something, they stay that way.”

Mum Kylie Anson knows exactly what she wants for the group.

“All of these people here need stability, a place that's theirs, that they can use, and no-one takes it away,” she said.

“They need regular routines.

He's not going to get quality of life by spending it on a bus

Carer Dominic Lockhart

“They need to know what's happening that day and the next day, who their workers are going to be, where they're going to be, and what they can look forward to.”

As of last week, the group had lined up a place to be for three days per week, but carer Dominic Lockhart says it’s important they have options five days per week in Narooma. Mr Lockhart cares for a relative, David, and said relocating to Moruya was not viable.

“Being in the area where they live, they’re able to get out more, and go for a walk,” he said.

“David’s got a beach here, which he wouldn't have in Moruya, and one of the most important things is quality of life.

“One of his favourite things to do is go to the beach and play in the sand, because he loves feeling the texture of the sand running through his fingers.

“He's just not going to get that in Moruya, and he's not going to get quality of life by spending it on a bus.”

Robin Harding said getting her adult son Dan and his friends to Moruya would be unfair to parents.

“We're left in limbo,” she said. 

“We've looked after our disabled son for years, and where other parents have so-called ‘normal kids’ off doing 'normal things', we have to have something in place for Dan that gives him inclusion, and equality.

“We've fought so hard for Dan, and he's a beautiful young man with a beautiful energy. They're all mates, and they all get something out of it.

“They all feel safe, and they feel equal to everybody else, and that's why we need something in Narooma.”

Jim Brophy, spoke for Justin, 8.

“Being autistic, he doesn’t like much change, he likes a routine,” he said. “That’s all been taken away from him.

“To have a place where he can go on a rainy day would be ideal. When it's sunny he can go to the park, or go to the swimming pool, but on the miserable days, he's got nowhere to go.”

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