Melbourne Respite Centre Opens

February 6, 2012 by Ayal Tusia
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The Jewish Care Victoria Glen Eira Villas Adult Respite Centre has been opened by State Parliamentary Secretary for Families & Community Services Andrea Coote.

l-r: Bruce Rosengarten, President of Jewish Care, with the Parliamentary Secretary for Families & Community Services, Andrea Coote MLC, David Southwick MP and Bill Appleby, CEO.

Andrea Coote praised Jewish Care for its commitment to the  innovative Caulfield project that, as well as providing relief for carers, opens up new opportunities for adults with disabilities to take small steps towards more independent living.  “Respite provides a kind of trial stage, a way of becoming comfortable that you are safe in a different setting. So the small step is really a big step, and it is made more confidently when both family and the individual themselves know that the full range of cultural and religious supports are in place to provide the ‘soft landing’ ”, she added
Before its establishment, Jewish Care provided culturally specific support for children and respite for their families but could not continue to offer services after the child’s 18th birthday.
Jewish Care responded to the needs of those adults living with a disability and, their families and carers through establishing a new service from concept to doors open including fundraising, recruiting and training staff, equipping the Centre and opening its doors for first users all within one year.

The expansion of the services and the resulting positive benefits have given families and carers essential day and overnight respite where their needs are respected and celebrated. The adults with a disability are given opportunities to improve their life skills, with a focus on transition to independence.

“We look forward to many more visits to the friendly environs of Glen Eira Villas,” said Janette Dvash, new client, after visiting the villa with her daughter Alysa. “The unit is warm and inviting and the care is gentle and complete.”

“Having an adult respite centre in the heart of our community has been a dream of many people.  We are very proud to have made this dream a reality in only one year,” said Bill Appleby, CEO Jewish Care.

Andrea Coote acknowledged the efforts of staff and donors, stating “through your joint efforts – the remarkable fundraising efforts and the philanthropic impulses on the one hand, with the Jewish Care imperative on the other – you have provided the opportunity for that to happen.”
The opening was made possible by the generosity of community members, including Dianne Gringlas and Liz Nissen who spearheaded the fundraising project with passion, generating over $737,000  over three years. This amount, together with $312,000 of Department of Human Services (DHS) funding, allows Jewish Care accommodate up to three people with a disability overnight and up to five individuals during the day.  The Program operates from Wednesday through to Monday.

Additional funds are required for this Service to continue supporting the ongoing needs of the Victorian Jewish community.

Despite strong initial demand, there are still some places available for adults living with a disability and their families wanting to use the new service.
The Jewish Care Intake Team can be contacted on 03 8517 5777.

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