Disabled youth with complex care needs have been empowered to lead more independent lives, following recent upgrades at Horizons Respite & Recreation Association Inc (Horizons) on the Redcliffe Peninsula.
Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland – who provide the site to Horizons for a nominal rent through the Rex Elson Estate – commissioned the upgrades, including a new all-weather covered ramp and reverse cycle air-conditioning in the client day use areas.
The majority of the $200k plus upgrades were funded through the Rex Elson Estate, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $35k Grassroots Grant to ensure the project could come to fruition.
Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle said improvements to the built environment meant that they could continue to provide an inclusive service, where clients of varying care needs could get the most out of their programs to lead more independent lives.
“We’re committed to improving the quality of life of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities, by giving them opportunities to mix with others their own age, learn life skills and have fun together,” Roxanne said.
“Replacing the old stairs and ramp with a longer, all-weather covered ramp, complete with hand and curb rails, two safety landings and lighting throughout, provides a safe path for staff and families to move wheelchair-bound clients between buildings on the site,” she said.
“Similarly, now that the day use areas have reverse cycle air-conditioning, those of our clients that have difficulty regulating their body temperature won’t have to miss out during certain activities.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding these upgrades was a way of honouring the wishes of the late Rex Elson, a long-time local resident whose generous bequest to Hand Heart Pocket many years ago, enabled the purchase of this very facility.
“Rex’s bequest was to benefit a community service in the Redcliffe region and since moving into the Margate facility, Horizons has grown from 8 to 50+ clients, proving to be a vital part of the community.”
“We continue to support Horizons through the Elson Estate to keep Rex’s generous spirit alive, while improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of the community, empowering them to lead better lives,” Gary said.
Photo: Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle (back row center) and Chairman Stuart Macnish (back row far right) alongside Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark (back row center right) at a special morning tea for clients and their families to celebrate the upgrades.