The Right Start families welcome partnership with Community Links Wollondilly
Macarthur families who have children with Down syndrome will have improved access to services in the region after the formalising of a partnership between The Right Start Foundation and Community Links Wollondilly.
The partnership will give families access to subsidised therapies and specialised support.
The Right Start Foundation chairman Angus Cox said the foundation could not afford to build a stand-alone centre, its initial objective, so decided to ‘‘partner’’ with another local existing organisation, which already had the facilities, staff and infrastructure in place and were helping local families in need.
“Community Links Wollondilly fitted that brief perfectly,’’ he said.
The Right Start will fund Community Links to engage a project officer to assist in providing counselling and social work, subsidised speech, physio and occupational therapies, and a permanent meeting venue for our support group to discuss problems and solutions, especially for newborns.
Mr Cox said The Right Start Foundation also offered a financial assistance grant scheme to families.
He said there was a need for families to pay for therapies for their children over seven years of age that they simply could not afford.
“Some families need equipment, such as wheelchairs, a bicycle, taps suitable for their children to use, and even financial assistance to take a child to a camp.
“We allocated $50,000 for this year, and very quickly had to close the applications as we had exceeded the allocation to needy families.’’
The Right Start Foundation was established from a vision by Macarthur region mum Glenda Graban who, with a group of like-minded mothers, wanted to give their children with Down syndrome the best start in life.