Wheels in motion for a new flat halfway house for disabled Cantabrians
The wheels are on for a new halfway house that will teach Cantabrians with disabilities the skills to embrace independent living.
Conductive Education Canterbury (CEC) is fundraising in August to raise part of the additional $400,000 it needs to build an accessible home in Christchurch to accommodate five people with disabilities at a time.
A Wheelathon event – attended by the Black Ferns – took place at Addington School on Monday afternoon, and its fundraising mission in August raised $3,000 on Give a littlesaid CEC Executive Director Rebecca Courtney.
Participants, including Addington School students, rugby stars and CEC students, individually secured sponsorship to ride the track using wheels ranging from wheelchairs to scooters, skateboards to rollators.
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Conductive education teaches people – from infants to adults – with motor disabilities to coordinate their movements and achieve greater independence and self-confidence in their daily lives, and has been available in Aotearoa for over 30 years.
CEC had already secured $200,000 for the house through other fundraisers, including $40,000 from Christchurch City Council, and would begin construction by the end of the year, Courtney said.
National coordinator for the New Zealand Conductive Education Foundation, Sally Thomas, said the new five-bedroom accessible house would be a halfway house for people with disabilities who needed help to learn skills for a life. independent.
The five housemates would learn skills such as using the washing machine and budgeting, while being under regular supervision and support from staff.
The great thing about the project was that the rent for the house, once paid, would go directly into the running costs of the CEC service, she said.
“People with disabilities, some of whom may have gone through the service and end up living in the house, will end up supporting this next generation.”
How long they stay would depend on individual needs and when they are ready to get out and live independently, Thomas said.
He worked in partnership with the charity Brackenridge, which would identify those who were ready to begin their independent living journey.
Courtney said there has been a societal shift in living conditions for people with disabilities over the past decade, which has made the home even more necessary.
“They want to live like their peers in the community they’ve chosen, with the people they’ve chosen,” Thomas said.
“It’s being able to support the change of mentality around the lives of people with disabilities in adulthood.
The CEC already had a house with five permanent residents, but the house in the planning would be different – more of a halfway house for people who did not need 24/7 care.
Finding the opportunity to learn flattering skills wasn’t easy for people supported by CEC, and they would have no problem filling the house, Courtney said.
The service was a cause dear to the heart of Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith – with one of his 39-year-old twin sons suffering from cerebral palsy – so he brought in a few members of the squad to help.
“The work they do [at CEC] is exceptional. Teach them functional things that we take for granted every day, like dressing and how to cook a meal.