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Northcott in Action

Issue 3, August 2013

Support for the whole family thanks to you For 11-year-old Chithic Machar, the recent school holidays saw him reach a major milestone in his life. Thanks to your support he was able to stay away from home overnight for the first time at our Roselands Respite Cottage. “It was good for me to have a break. Being able to stay overnight made me feel more a part of the group here” said Chithic, who lives with spina bifida. “At Roselands we go shopping, bowling, to the circus, all sorts of outings. It’s lots of fun.”

Chithic’s family moved to Australia 10 years ago after they fled Sudan as refugees with the hope of finding a better life. “When we came here Chithic had no wheelchair but Northcott helped us with funding for a wheelchair,” said Chithic’s mother Mary Bol. “Northcott helped us out a lot. They took us to hospitals for appointments and recently got Chithic into swimming lessons.” “Northcott has changed our lives,” Mary said.

Thanks for your support Respite gives families a break from the stresses and strains of day-to-day life and gives children with disabilities the chance to have much needed fun. Your generosity meant more than $100,000 was raised in our recent Family Support Appeal, to help families like the Machars. Your kind donations help fund our many family support services like the Roselands Respite Cottage, which Chithic visited. Donations from the appeal also allows us to provide support to siblings of people with disabilities, like Chithic’s sister Adut. She recently attended a special day with other siblings at our head office. “It was really fun, we went bowling, played in the park and I made new friends,” Adut said of the day. Thank you to everyone who donated to our Family Support Appeal.

You have supported many families like the Machars

Message from our Ambassador Jamie Whitworth My name is Jamie Whitworth and I am a Northcott Client Ambassador.

It is a great privilege to represent people living with a disability.

Saturday, 19 October at Pitt Town Public School. Please come along!

I live with spina bifida, and as I am sure everyone who lives with a disability knows, that is a challenge!

The day will be great for young kids or if you are just looking for a fun family day out!

But I am a strong believer that all challenges are manageable and having a disability is no different.

I hope to raise money for Northcott as well as to raise awareness of building an inclusive society for everyone. Please come down and say “hi”.

As an ambassador I have been involved many great events and I am also organising one to be held on

I look forward to catching up with you all soon! Jamie

New look Northcott website To use the service finder, follow these three steps. 1) 2) 3)

Type in your postcode Click on your life stage Select the services you’re interested in

It then creates a list of what’s available near you. You can save your search, print a report and even email the list to your family, workers and colleagues. The Service Finder can be found on the home page of the website. You can also easily donate some of your time or money. If you have any feedback, feel free to drop us a line through the feedback section on the website. We have launched our new website and given it a fresh look to meet the needs of our clients, donors and the wider community.

An exciting new feature of the website is the service finder. It’s a great tool to help people work out what services we offer and where to get them.

Take some time to check out all of the new features: Happy browsing!

Meet our Hunter region team We provide a variety of services all tailored to the needs of our clients and their families! Our EarlyStart Diagnosis Support Service supports families who are worried about the development of their child or provides assistance if there has been a disability diagnosis. We help families when they are frightened and confused after the diagnosis, and stressed about what lies ahead. We run the Support Networks Program for young people and their families. By forging partnerships with local groups, we are able to hold a range of activities that provide all members of a family with an environment where they can establish meaningful networks and feel connected to the community.

Northcott’s friendly Hunter team

The My Time carer support groups are open to anyone caring for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition. It is an opportunity for people going through similar situations to meet one another, talk about things and ask advice. Childcare is provided while carers get to know one another and find out about services available to assist them. Our Leaving Care Mentoring Program helps young people move into adult services. We help these young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to make informed choices to lead fulfilling lives. At Singleton Public School, we run Partnerships for Inclusive Learning where speech and occupational

therapists work with teachers to develop therapy practices that can be used in everyday classroom activities to help all students. We also run the new Mount Hutton Accommodation Service which offers such programs as respite, therapy, behaviour support and recreation services. We love being able to make a difference to the lives of clients and families through the work we do. This is the key motivator for us and it inspires us to ensure we are delivering quality programs and services. Our office is located at 13 Valencia Street in Mayfield. You are more than welcome to pop in and see us or you can give us a call on 4935 0400.

Here’s To You… Coleman Greig Lawyers

Your donations are still vital The National Disability Insurance Scheme, now called DisabilityCare Australia, has been enthusiastically embraced, and rightly so. DisabilityCare will provide fundamental support to thousands of Australians living with disability.

Coleman Greig Lawyers proudly support Northcott

We recently caught up with one of our fantastic corporate supporters from Parramatta, Coleman Greig Lawyers!

Who is Coleman Greig Lawyers? Coleman Greig Lawyers is an innovative and progressive organisation, proud of our reputation as Western Sydney’s leading law firm and an integral part of the community. Our services span commercial law, family law, wills and estate planning, property law and conveyancing.

How do you support Northcott? We have been supporting Northcott for many years. The firm raised $75,000 to build the playground at Northcott’s head office and has also raised some much-need funding for Karingal, Northcott’s respite house in North Rocks. We have run seminars for clients and donors. We are involved with Northcott’s employment placement program.

Our latest initiative is the Coleman Greig Western Sydney Executive Challenge. It will bring together businesses from the region to participate in a running and cycling event in Parramatta Park on Friday 1 November. Funds raised at this event will support Northcott and St Gabriel’s School for Children with Special Needs.

What do you think about Northcott’s mission to “build an inclusive society”? We understand and admire your mission and believe it both reflects, and builds upon, our own core values of “People, Purpose, Vision, Community”.

Why do you think others should support Northcott? The broad range of programs and support offered by Northcott is amazing. Providing financial support helps so many children, adults and their families. In many cases, it can mean the difference between a life of isolation and a life of greater confidence and independence.

“But is also brings new questions and issues to work through,” says Northcott CEO Kerry Stubbs. “Will there be enough housing to meet the particular needs of the individual? Will there be the extra support for someone with significant physical limitations to study the course of their choice? Will families be given the help they need?” At Northcott, we are concentrating on these questions right now. One thing we do know is that we are still going to need the generous support of our donors. “DisabilityCare will not fund innovation and research, community development, capital works if we set up a new office or find a place to run a program, for example,” notes Liz Forsyth, Northcott’s Sector and Business Development Manager. “DisabilityCare will cover the basics but a lot of our clients have needs above and beyond that won’t be covered. That’s why fundraising will remain a crucial part of Northcott’s future in the DisabilityCare landscape,” says Liz. DisabilityCare was launched in pilot programs across the country on 1 July this year and will be rolled out gradually. The scheme is expected to be fully operational by 2018.

New accommodation service opened Six young men with acquired brain injuries can now live the life they choose, thanks to an innovative new accommodation service in Mount Hutton, just outside of Newcastle. All of the men were previously living in aged care homes – the wrong place for young men to be. Now they feel right at home in the purpose-built villas. Aaron Hickey is one of the new residents and when he spoke at the official opening, he said he is looking forward to the future now that he is living in a home built especially for a young man like him.

Our brand new Mount Hutton service

“I am enjoying the freedom to choose what I eat and drink and where. I can return to having a glass of iced coffee – I am an iced coffee addict! I am learning to cook and enjoy cooking stir-fries. “My life isn’t finished. It is the start of a new adventure. I am very grateful to Northcott.” The $2.2 million complex was built as part of the Young People in Residential Aged Care program and funded by NSW Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

Aaron Hickey speaks at the opening

Residents enjoying a snack in the outdoor living area

Donor sees benefits first hand Newcastle dad Owen Wills recently signed up to become a regular giver. To see the work we do, Owen visited our Mount Hutton Accommodation Service. “It was fantastic. I got to talk to the blokes there and see the great facilities,” he said.

Owen said he chose to give to us because he wanted to support people with disabilities and to send his two children a positive message. “We all should give. It feels good donating but it would make me feel better if more people did it. We’ve all got a few dollars to spare,” he said.

We invite all our regular donors, just like Owen, to come and see first-hand how your money benefits people with disabilities. You can sign up to make a monthly donation today at or by phoning our Donor Care team on 02 9890 0132

You can Walk with Me this September Join us this September for our Walk With Me events, held across the state. Walk With Me raises funds for respite, a vital service that gives children and adults with disabilities a chance to enjoy activities while their carers get a break. Walk With Me celebrates social inclusion by encouraging individuals and teams to walk alongside people of all abilities, breaking through the barriers and common misconceptions surrounding disability.

gives family, friends, colleagues, businesses and members of the local community the chance to make a difference in the lives of people with a disability. You can support Walk With Me 2013 by walking, volunteering, fundraising or making a donation. So take the challenge, choose an event in your area and Walk With Me! For more details on all the fun planned for Walk With Me events in your area visit

It’s not a fun run, nor a competitive event. It’s an easy walk that

Where you can Walk With Me MOREE Friday 6 September 10am – Taylor Oval to Kirkby Park

NEWCASTLE Wednesday 11 September 11am – Lambton Park

WAGGA WAGGA Friday 13 September 11am – Civic Precinct

PARRAMATTA Friday 13 September 11.30am – Banks of Parramatta River between Barry Wilde Bridge and Rivercat Wharf

TAMWORTH Friday 13 September 10am – Anzac Park

DUBBO Saturday 14 September 10am – Victoria Park

Staff and clients from around the state get together at last year’s Walk with Me

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2013 northcott in action issue 3