The Disability Trust received further funding for Outside of School Hours Care services in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, and in March 2010 we began Disability Employment Services in the region.
On the 1st of October we merged with WorkAbility, based in Southern NSW. With its origins as a successful disability employment agency across the Far South Coast of NSW stretching back to 1991, WorkAbility provides a range of Employment and Community services across five local government areas including Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, Snowy, Bombala and Cooma shires.
In 2011 The Disability Trust opened new offices in Shellharbour and Bega, and a new group home in Claymore. Later that same year we also achieved accreditation for the very rigorous Attendant Care Industry Management System Standard (ACIMSS).
In January 2012 The Disability Trust merged with long term partner Southern Sydney Trusted Care (SSTC). SSTC started as an early intervention service in 1974 and has since evolved into a quality respite and recreation service that provides care in the Sutherland shire, Hurstville, Kogarah and Rockdale local government areas.
In October 2012 we began the move of 66 residents out of Sunshine Lodge and Cottages. We moved five residents into a home in Bargo and the other 61 moved into to the Nurses Quarters on the grounds of the old Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital in Goulburn. Over the next 12 months we transitioned the residents to other organisations, aged care, independent living and Trust group homes. We set up four houses (17 residents) in Goulburn and eight houses in the Southern Highlands (34 residents) plus three units for four clients who chose to live independently.
In 2014 The Disability Trust began delivering services in the ACT. Our initial focus was on the transition and management of two respite houses, one for teenagers with disabilities and a second house geared to the needs of adults. Services are aimed at maximising the independence of people with disabilities and supporting them in developing and maintaining life skills. Pleasingly, we saw our services in the ACT grow with the NDIS implementation in the territory.
Trusted Travel was launched, offering a variety of group and individualised holidays to people with a disability. The service continues to grow, creating fun, memorable, personalised and well-supported holidays that enable travel to any destination for all.
The Disability Trust also merged with Headway Illawarra on the 1st July 2014. Headway was established in 1985 as a small voluntary group to provide post-rehabilitation support for adults with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). The support provided is specifically designed to improve lifestyle outcomes for people with an ABI.
2016 will be remembered as one of the most significant years in The Disability Trust’s history, as we welcomed the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in South Western Sydney (including Bowral and Mittagong in the Southern Highlands), Western Sydney, and Southern NSW (including Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Batemans Bay and Bega).
The Trust had lobbied hard for the NDIS and was ready to meet the needs of current and future service users. Our vision has always been to build on the strengths afforded by our local connections and partnerships with people with disabilities, their families and friends. We are committed to continuing to explore ways to enhance the lives of people with disabilities and to seeking ways to create a more inclusive world.
2017 was an exciting year as the NDIS transition continued. The Disability Trust saw an increase in services provided to existing participants who continued to choose us as their preferred provider for additional supports. We also welcomed many new service users who chose The Trust as their NDIS provider for the first time. Keeping participants at the heart of what we do is always very important and this was especially true as we negotiated the challenges related to the NDIS transition, working hard to smooth the way and support individuals and families through the process.
We also opened several new residential facilities, a fabulous new office and hub in Queanbeyan and Nowra and renovated our Day Options service in Wollongong.
There was great excitement when The Disability Trust began operating the Mountview Centre in Balgownie, previously operated by the NSW Government Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). The centre includes a 16 bed Specialist Supported Living (SSL) group home and a five bedroom respite home.
We worked closely with FACS to ensure the smooth transition of services, information and systems. We were fortunate to already know many of the residents directly and we have since built on these relationships, supporting them into the future.
The Disability Trust was delighted to be selected to provide Supported Independent Living (SIL) services to residents moving out of the NSW Government Large Residential Centres (Stockton, Tomaree and Kanangra) in the Hunter over the next 12 months.
This led to The Trust operating a number of new SIL services in the Hunter region providing our quality support services to participants moving out into the community.
The Disability Trust opened a new head office at Edney Lane in Spring Hill, consolidating three offices and bringing together more than 170 employees under one roof.
We also opened The Plant Room Café, located next to our new headquarters. The Café is a social enterprise, which was opened in conjunction with Illawarra Vocational Services to enable supported employees to develop skills in the hospitality industry.
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