Not-for-profit organisation Brighter Access held a soil turning ceremony last week to mark the commencement of a construction project set to boost job opportunities and provide accessible housing for people with disability in Inverell.
As a disability service provider, Brighter Access identified a need for homes in Inverell that allow people with disability to live as independently as possible through design modifications.
The eight-year dream will soon become a reality in less than two weeks as the team at John Baker Contracting lay the foundations to build a complex of four Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) units, completely funded by the local organisation.
Brighter Access’ Chief Executive Officer Tanya Fox explained two of the units will be classed as fully accessible under the SDA assessment and the other two will be categorised as robust.
“The two front units will be fully accessible meaning people who are in wheelchairs and have those physical needs will be able to be supported within the home as modifications have been made to allow for more room and ceiling hoists.”
“The two rear [units] will not only be fully accessible, but they will also be robust.”
“These homes will be built sturdier than your average home so that if there’s a risk of property damage, it will be reduced in those units,” Mrs Fox said.
Brighter Access currently employs almost 600 staff across the New England, Hunter, Central Coast and Mid North Coast. Around 80 of those are based in Inverell, where the organisation first began. Once these units are complete, around 20 new job opportunities will be created locally.
Mrs Fox said the ultimate goal of this project was to give back to the Inverell community, not only to people with disability who may reside in these homes, but also to the local economy and future job seekers, and their families.
“Inverell is where we started, this is where Brighter Access was born and nurtured more than 43 years ago.”
“The Inverell community has allowed this organisation to grow and prosper.”
“This project is completely funded by Brighter Access with no government support and it is our own funding that will allow the success of these homes. We are proud of that,” she said.
Inverell Shire Councillor Stewart Berryman assisted Brighter Access Chairman John Scoble to break ground at the construction site. Cr Berryman said as a former Inverell Accommodation Services board member and family member of people with disability, he understood the need for this project.
“I would like to congratulate Brighter Access because this is a substantial project that will boost our local economy.”
“Inverell is the home of Brighter Access and as they say home is where the heart is.”
“Although the service has spread its wings to other areas, Inverell remains the head office location and I think that is a tremendous thing for the local economy and community,” Cr Berryman said.
Top image: Brighter Access Operations Manager Lisa Fulton, Cr Stewart Berryman, Brighter Access Board Chairman John Scoble, Project Manager Tim Russell, Builder John Baker of John Baker Contracting and Brighter Access Chief Executive Officer Tanya Fox during the soil turning ceremony.
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