16/01/2013 - 08:17

Cerebral palsy gets $2.7m boost

16/01/2013 - 08:17

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Cerebral palsy gets $2.7m boost
REVAMP: Two cheques presented to The Cerebral Palsy Centre will allow it to begin the fi rst steps of a major upgrades at its residential (pictured) and CP Tech facilities. Photo: Annaliese Frank

RECENT donations by Lotterywest to The Centre for Cerebral Palsy have provided significant momentum for two vital projects currently under way at the centre, located in Coolbinia.

Last week, Mental Health and Disability Services Minister Helen Morton presented two cheques totalling $2.7 million, which the centre will use to upgrade vital infrastructure and improve service delivery.

The centre’s public relations and communications coordinator, Amy Brett, told WA Business News the first cheque, for around $1.37 million, would go towards a ‘Welcome Home’ campaign.

This involves the revamp and expansion of the centre’s CP Tech facility, which provides assistive technology like mobility and communication devices.

In addition, Cassia House, which provides accommodation for people at the Coolbinia site, will be demolished and rebuilt anew.

“The new villas will have the latest in accessibility technology; for example, doors and lighting that have motion sensors, and electronically enabled kitchen benches that can be lowered to a height suitable for a person in a wheelchair,” Ms Brett said.

“They will also incorporate elements of green energy and sustainable design.

“The site will be transformed into a lifestyle village, with five villas. Each villa will be home to five people.”

While the concept for the project has been under development for some time, the funding allows The Centre for Cerebral Palsy to take the first steps in getting construction under way.

However the fundraising side of the campaign was far from over, Ms Brett said, with the cost of the project totalling around $11 million.

“We are now in the midst of a capital fundraising campaign, so we’re seeking donations from members of the community, individuals, and members of the corporate community,” she said.

Ms Brett said the revamp and expansion of the CP Tech facility was a high priority for the centre.

“We have products like wheelchairs and walkers stacked in offices and even in the car park sometimes because we don’t have the storage space,” she said.

“There are also offices that exist very close to therapy rooms, so privacy, productivity, and general comfort are all issues.

“The number of people who access the service is always increasing, so [the redevelopment project] will certainly enable us to meet demand more efficiently.”

The centre will use a second cheque for $1.35 million to upgrade its outdated IT systems.

“Our IT network is under strain because of the large number of staff that use it,” Ms Brett said.

“Our server is under strain and the software is out-dated. 

“[The upgrade] is definitely something that will assist with productivity and help us continue to improve the services we provide to people with disabilities.”

Ms Brett said the centre would now focus on raising another $2.5 million to ensure the completion of the demolition and rebuild of the Cassia House site.

Founded by a group of parents in 1951, The Centre for Cerebral Palsy has grown to provide services for people of all ages and a range of disabilities. The centre’s main focus is on therapy, accommodation and employment services and the provision of mobility and communication assistance. The centre also has a state-registered nursing home for people with profound disabilities.

 

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