People with a disability and their carers celebrated the official opening of a new office in Maitland that provides services tailored to their needs.
Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka opened the Samaritans Foundation office with Maitland MP Robyn Parker yesterday in the company of guests and clients.
“There are many services that look after people with a disability but the good thing about the Samaritans is it looks after carers too,” East Maitland mother and carer Pam Bonomini said as she applauded the facility and staff.
The widow has been the sole carer for son Lawrence, 47, in their East Maitland home for the past 13 years. The
service’s respite care gives her some small luxuries others take for granted.
Nola Warby of Telarah also cares for an adult child, having helped
establish Mai-Wel in 1960, but has enjoyed the social outings Samaritans has provided.
“It’s the only service that’s really helped us, the carers,” she said.
This year the state government has allocated $22.6 million to Samaritans and Mr Ajaka said the foundation was delivering great benefits to its clients.
Mr Ajaka applauded Samaritans efforts, especially with carers aged 65 and over with adult children under their care.
“It’s nice to be able to see the synergy between the two and the great assistance that [Samaritans] gives in that respect,” he said.
Ms Parker said Maitland was in a strong position for the anticipated launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in 2015.
“Importantly for us we’re now getting a really strong presence of this type of care on our doorstep rather than Newcastle,” she said.
The Maitland office will serve the Hunter as the Samaritans’ hub, with respite only one of 100 different services that include day care and counselling.
“This office will manage and co-ordinate a variety of services in the region,” Samaritans CEO Cec Shevels said.