Pie maker’s $900,000 Gift for New England Families

New centre at Armidale will be life-changing for kids with cerebral palsy

Hundreds of New England children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities are today celebrating the opening of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s new state-of-the-art therapy centre at Armidale.

Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation donated $900,000 to purchase the land and construct the purpose-built facility in the middle of Armidale’s medical precinct in O’Dell Street.

For 6 year old Kayden Lamb from Narrabri, who has cerebral palsy and receives regular therapy from Cerebral Palsy Alliance, the new centre means a greater range of services will be available.

‘With the new Armidale centre the regional hub for Cerebral Palsy Alliance, families like ours will have access to a range of vital therapy and support services relatively close to home’, said Kayden’s mum Natasha Stanford.

‘It is reassuring to know that not only will Kayden receive the therapy and support that he needs, but our family will also benefit from the wider range of services now able to be offered.

‘On behalf of all families throughout the New England area, I would like to sincerely thank Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation for its generosity.’

Cooper Johnson, aged 2, who has cerebral palsy, today officiated with cake cutting duties at the official opening alongside President of Cerebral Palsy Alliance Marelle Thornton AM and Karl
Fretwell, National Sales and Marketing Manager for Sargents Pies.

Each year, Cerebral Palsy Alliance provides support for as many as 100 families living throughout the New England area. The organisation first provided services in the region in 2004 at rented premises in the University of New England. However, the space was not ideal for clients with a disability, particularly those using wheelchairs.

Thanks to the generous donation by Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation, work began last year on the environmentally and family friendly purpose-built centre in the town’s medical precinct in O’Dell Street. The new centre is fully wheelchair accessible and has three therapy rooms, an open plan office and a meeting room.

The Armidale team includes a physiotherapist, two occupational therapists and a speech pathologist. They travel throughout a vast area spanning some 93,000 square kilometres, providing services to families living anywhere from the Great Dividing Range between Tamworth and Tenterfield, to the Namoi and Gwydir River Valleys of Inverell, Moree and Narrabri and as far north as the Queensland border. The team also provides services to a number of indigenous communities throughout this region.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance CEO Rob White said Armidale was the 9th site in regional and rural NSW to be funded through the generosity of Sargents Pies Charitable Foundation.

‘This generosity has been life changing for thousands of families throughout regional NSW whose children have cerebral palsy and other disabilities’, Mr White said.

‘Sargents has enabled us to build a network of state-of-the-art therapy centres that provide vital services closer to people’s homes, which reduces traveling time and costs for families that are often already pushed to the limit both financially and emotionally.

‘Our new centre at Armidale also enables us to run more support activities on site, such as our new MyTime support group for parents and carers. These types of activities have the potential to be life-changing for local families’, he said.

Media are invited to attend the opening of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s new centre: 3.00pm, Tuesday 5 March, 124a O’Dell St, Armidale.