New disability respite facility for Kangaroo Island
Written on the 23 January 2014 by Karen Goldie
A new CLASS (Community Living and Support Services Incorporated) facility was officially opened at Kingscote last Wednesday, offering 24/7 respite for people living with disability.
Disabilities Minister Tony Piccolo officiated proceedings and said the new centre will provide Kangaroo Island residents with local support services, rather than them having to rely on support from the mainland. "The facility will enable residents to live independently while providing increased opportunities to participate in local community life," the Minister stated.
CLASS is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1983 by a group of concerned parents living in Strathalbyn, looking for recreational activities for their children with disability.
Minister Piccolo acknowledged, "this year is the 30th anniversary of CLASS providing services to people with disability in South Australia. I commend them for this continued dedication to improving the lives of people with disability, and helping vulnerable people in our community to make independent choices.”
Kangaroo Island Mayor, Jayne Bates says she cannot put into words how wonderful it is to have the new respite facility on the Island. “I understand the need for family support and I am so happy that something constructive has been done about it. I hope that this will lead to further enterprises on Kangaroo Island for people with disability.” Jayne beams “this is just brilliant.”
For mum Linda Howard, having the respite facility on the Island means, “an opportunity for our family to have a break and have the chance to spend some time with my other children and grandchildren , knowing that [our son] Kieran is also having a holiday and being well-cared for.”
For CLASS client Peter Forster, he says “it is handy to have somewhere that I can call on in times of emergency.” As a frequent visitor to CLASS’ respite guest house on the mainland, he is impressed with the thought that has gone into the new Kingscote property and feels that he has had some input into it.
The newly renovated respite facility has four bedrooms with a large open plan lounge room, dining and kitchen area. Two of the bedrooms are also fitted with brand new mechanical lift devices to enable individuals with high needs the ease of transfer.
Chief Executive Mark Kulinski said, “we are honoured to have the Minister for Disabilities opening our new respite House on KI. This dream for KI has taken 5 years to bring to fruition. I’ve never been so proud as a CEO to see the team work so hard over many years together to ensure KI has a range of services. Congratulations to everyone involved to make this dream a reality”. Mark also acknowledged the hard work done by Disability SA and local families, in partnership with CLASS, to prepare a good case to attract the funding package that enabled this service.
The need for the respite facility is reinforced by the fact that guests are already being welcomed and accommodated!
L to R – Barbara Hurst, Minister Tony Piccolo, Luke & Deb Schwerdt cut the official ribbon
Minister Tony Piccolo, Kieran & Linda Howard, Kate Souter, Rob Howard.
CLASS Respite Service Manager Karen Maidment-Longbottom, Peter Forster, Minister Piccolo, Mayor Jayne Bates
CLASS CE Mark Kulinski, Mayor Jayne Bates, Minister Tony Piccolo, Regional Coordinator Kangaroo Island Suzi Lines
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Author: Karen Goldie
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