Read about the successful Headwest backyard Blitz.
People with an acquired brain injury will be able receive better support and feel more at home thanks to the City of Melville, a local church and volunteers.
The new backyard was unveiled to a group of overjoyed Headwest clients today (Tuesday, 24 April). The renovation included installing new lawn, brick paving, timber seating boxes, fencing and shade sails as well as new eaves and a new paint job for the shed, which is fitted out for use by clients. A sign has also been constructed, naming the shed “Lucky’s Place” after one of the terminally-ill clients whose dream was to return to the Canning Highway centre.
Volunteer Resource Centre Co-ordinator Nicola Schuman said the Council worked with the South City Church to identify community projects the church could undertake to benefit needy organisations. “The church has been keen to volunteer their time and resources to worthwhile causes and in 2005, we facilitated the renovation of a backyard of a Rocky Bay client in Palmyra,” she said. “Following the success of that project, we identified Headwest as also being in need of support.”
Headwest Manager Dene Oliver said the not-for-profit centre, which aimed to improve the quality of life for people with an acquired brain injury through advocacy, referral, information and community education, received limited government funding. “The support of the Council and generosity of South City Church has enabled our clients to come back home to Headwest,” she said. “They had not been able to use the facility for 18 months because it was inaccessible and unsafe with a huge hole, uneven concrete and no shade. Our clients had been meeting at a local senior citizens club, which was unsuitable. More than 30 ABI clients plus carers will now be able to enjoy the facilities.”
South City Church’s Ken Lee said members of the church’s men’s group completed the backyard renovation over two Saturdays with about 25 volunteers attending each day. “We had volunteers aged 15 to 60 from all backgrounds working together,” he said. “The project also included a lot of preparation and sourcing of materials and many local businesses, including BGC, Bunnings and Ross North Homes, provided financial support and in-kind donations of materials.”
Mr Lee said the church felt blessed to be able to contribute to the local community. “We use our hands, skills and passion to make a difference,” he said. “Many of the group are skilled tradesmen and we are able to undertake these projects with expertise and experience of our members. We hope to work with the Council to identify and undertake many more worthwhile projects around the municipality.”
Ms Schuman said the Melville Volunteer Resource Centre, funded by the Department for Community Development, provided a central point for volunteering enquiries from potential volunteers and a support resource for more than 100 community organisations in the City of Melville that involved volunteers. “Our volunteers – and potential volunteers – are valuable community assets,” she said. "Our role is to link these people, their abilities and passions with other community assets, including community groups, schools and local businesses, to help build a strong, healthy and sustainable community."