PRIMED AND READY: This open space at GBSS will soon come alive with the construction of a therapy playground.
PRIMED AND READY: This open space at GBSS will soon come alive with the construction of a therapy playground. Ella Archibald-Binge

On road to independence

IT STARTED with a Notable Aussie Day at St Joseph's School and resulted in an event where the community raised $18,000 to support locals with disabilities.

In Mary McLucas's classroom late last year, a student asked guest speaker Therese Crisp if she had encountered setbacks in her role as Granite Belt Support Services manager.

Mrs Crisp said she faced setbacks every day, trying to source funds for GBSS.

There was another guest speaker in the classroom that day - Wayne Bennett, a father of two adults with disabilities.

Mr Bennett volunteered to speak at a GBSS fundraising dinner, which raised $18,000 - an amount that would normally take years to acquire.

Mrs Crisp said the money would go towards construction of a therapy playground and new kitchen equipment.

"The fundraiser couldn't have come at a better time because there is very little state or federal funding available at the moment," she said.

"The thing that brings you to your knees is people in the community were so giving."

Set to be completed within two months, the playground will have special sensory features such as a water wall and scented plants to cater for children with autism and physical disabilities.

New kitchen furnishings will provide resources for the GBSS life skills team, which teaches vital cooking skills to children, teenagers and adults to help clients gain independence.

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