Media/$2 million therapy centre opens in Canberra which will change the lives of children and adults with a disability

$2 million therapy centre opens in Canberra which will change the lives of children and adults with a disability

State of the art centre at Scullin to provide vital early intervention services

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$2 million therapy centre opens in Canberra which will change the lives of children and adults with a disability
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CANBERRA, TUESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2014 – Children and adults with a disability from Canberra and surrounding areas are today celebrating the opening of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s $2 million therapy centre in Scullin.

Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation donated $1.1 million for construction of the purpose-built therapy centre on land donated by the ACT government in Ross Smith Crescent at Scullin. The centre has been completed thanks to assistance from other generous Canberra businesses and supporters including the Koundouris family, Maxims Tennis Invitational and the Mid-Winter Parliament Ball.

The new Cerebral Palsy Alliance Canberra Centre includes six therapy rooms, function and training space, a workshop where technicians can manufacture and adapt mobility aides and other equipment, as well as a fully equipped gym.

For local children like four-year-old Max Howell from Griffith, who has cerebral palsy and receives regular therapy from Cerebral Palsy Alliance, the new centre means a greater range of services are now available.

‘We don’t know for sure what the future holds for Max – we don’t know if he will walk or feed himself or be able to manage the everyday tasks that we take for granted – but we know we are well supported and inspired by an organisation that is proactive, forward thinking and a world leader’, said his mum Fiona Keary.

‘To have access to life-changing therapy and equipment at a state-of-the-art centre close to our home in the ACT saves us the financial and emotional burden of having to regularly make the seven-hour return trip to Sydney for therapy and equipment fittings. I can’t imagine the impact those long journeys would have had on our entire family, particularly Max and his older brother Oscar.’

Max and his family today officiated at the opening alongside President of Cerebral Palsy Alliance Marelle Thornton AM and Brian Andrews from Sargents Pies.

Since 2004, Cerebral Palsy Alliance has provided support and services for close to 400 families living throughout the region from rented premises at the shared Mount Rogers Community Centre in Spence.

ClubsACT has provided more than $1.4m over the last decade to support the provision of therapy services, a vital partnership that continues today.

The new purpose-built centre in Scullin, made possible thanks to Sargents’ generosity, is serviced by a team of six specialists and provides speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, early intervention services, technology and seating services, and exercise physiology assessments.

CEO Rob White said the new Canberra Centre gives local children access to the world’s best early intervention services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

‘Today’s opening is particularly timely given the ACT government’s recent announcement of Cerebral Palsy Alliance as one of six non-government providers taking over its early intervention services for children with a disability or developmental delay’, Mr White said.

‘Our highly trained therapists are well equipped to provide services for children with a range of disabilities, and give them the best possible start in life.

‘This is a wonderful early Christmas present for children and their families from Canberra and surrounding areas and we welcome them through our doors.’

Today’s opening is also the last official public function for Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s long-term President Marelle Thornton AM, who retires this week after more than 30 years leading the organisation.

‘I am delighted to be in Canberra today to join the celebrations as this world-class therapy centre opens its doors’, Mrs Thornton said.

‘A personal mission of mine during my time leading this amazing organisation has been to make essential therapy and support services available close to home for children and families living in regional and rural locations.

‘This is our 10th regional centre to open its doors thanks to the generosity of Sargents Pies. It is a momentous occasion for current and future clients and families who will benefit immensely from these facilities and services.’

ATTENTION EDITORS: Media are invited to attend the opening of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s new Canberra Therapy Centre at 2:30pm on Tuesday 18 November, 5 Ross Smith Crescent, Scullin.

Released on 18 Nov 2014