New Day Program facilities for Westhaven in Dubbo
Northcott Sells Properties
Westhaven saw a window of opportunity when Northcott closed its doors in Dubbo, mid-march.
Its Day Program for adults with disabilities living in the community needed a permanent home. About a month ago, two houses in Quinn Street, owned and used by disability service provider Northcott for many years, became the property of not-for-profit Westhaven.
This week, Westhaven day program participants were asked to check out 6 and 8 Quinn Street and offer advice on how they should look and function. Two ‘engagement sessions’ gave clients the chance to address matters ranging from furniture and colour schemes through to their day program goals.
Westhaven’s Director of Human Resources and Engagement, Tim Sykes, was on hand along with Service Manager of Community Services Pam Cook. Marathon Health’s Alli Sykes, Charles Sturt University fourth-year speech pathology student Alana Cameron and Karen-Lea Delany of Karen-Lea’s Colour & Design joined the sessions to provide support.
“Clients are the focus of what we do,” Mr Sykes said. “These centres need to be reflective of the needs of the clients and what they want within them. We won’t start the transformation work on the buildings until we are satisfied we have got enough information from the clients about what they want.”
Day program clients currently attending rented Depot Road and Gipps Street facilities, are reported to be “very excited” about the move to Quinn Street where craft, cooking and sewing will be some of the activities on offer come spring.
Mr Sykes said the houses would be refurbished with minor structural work potentially requires to make them more accessible. The director did not reveal the purchase price but said Westhaven and Northcott had achieved a ‘fair’ deal.
‘This is a really important step for Westhaven.” he said. “We believe the clients will be provided with fantastic opportunities in the two sites and it also gives us the potential to grow.