New group homes provide confidence and independence

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Jean Welch out the front of her new home that she shares with her friend, Colleen Wall. Photo: Megan Dunn

Another seven AFFORD group homes were officially opened last week, housing 18 intellectually disabled residents.

A partnership between AFFORD and the NSW State Government’s Family and Community Services – Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) will see a $16 million project create 12 group homes for people with disability in the Penrith region.

Located in William Hart Crescent, Thornton, the homes were officially opened by Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka, and Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres, last Friday, November 11.

“These purpose-built, accessible living spaces will make such a difference to the lives of the residents,” Mr Ajaka said.

“I am delighted by AFFORD’s commitment to providing services that are focused on the holistic needs of people with disability through thoughtfully creating accessible and inclusive homes.”

The project is a culmination of three years of planning, design and consultation with builders and clients to create homes that are tailored for the needs of residents.

Newest resident Jean Welch said she was excited to start her new way of living.

“It’s really good here,” she told Weekender.

“I get to help with the cooking and cleaning, do my jobs, it’s only walking distance to get to Penrith and the staff are really helpful.”

To encourage an easy transition into the group homes, AFFORD has provided residents with skills-based training courses to develop their abilities in cooking, cleaning, sharing space, budgeting, travel and safety in the community.

The last homes of the project are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

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