“I just love the staff – every single one of them. They will do anything for you, nothing is too much trouble, and you get whatever you want. I’m from the bush and I have a wonderful view out my window of all these beautiful trees, which is a lovely reminder of where I am from. One of my first nights here, I thought I heard a dog barking, it was such a familiar sound to hear when you’re in a new place. I found out the next day it is Annie the dog who comes to visit – she’s on the payroll!”
Lorna is a resident at John Wesley Gardens aged care community
“Coming to Hummingbird House is like a home away from home where we are able to reconnect as a family without our daughter’s condition being the main focus. We can be a family without feeling like we are constantly in a hospital setting. Every single moment we have shared at Hummingbird House has been special. For the first time in years, our daughter was able to have a bath with her little brother, and not in just a regular bath but this fancy bath with spa jets, lights and music.
"The look on their faces as they splashed in the water with the colour changing lights, giggling and moving to the beats of Michael Jackson, is a memory that will stay with us forever. For the first time in a very long time, our daughter and her brother were able to enjoy something that most young siblings do together but had been impossible for us up until that moment”.
“As a single mother, there were times I was struggling to make ends meet. When I met Donna at the ParentsNext Program, I instantly felt a connection. She helped me to write a new resume and learn basic computer skills, which I hadn’t needed before. As a result of her help I was successful in getting a casual job back in retail, which I love. The program promotes long-term thinking about the future and financial sustainability, and Donna has helped me to set goals and think about a career. I’m about to start studying a Teacher Aide Course and a Certificate 1 in Vocational Skills with the goal of becoming a Teacher Aide and working with children with different needs, as my son is in this category. The program did so much more for me than helping me get a job. Becoming a mum, especially a single mum, can be very lonely and isolating; it’s easy to lose yourself and your identity. Through the program I attended an empowerment course and two parenting courses, and my son and I attended the weekly playgroup with other local parents. There is free child minding offered for all the courses, so there’s no barriers to parents attending. I’m now on the ParentsNext Advisory Board and we’re organising social events, courses and guest speakers for parents in the area. I’ve regained my self-confidence, met new friends and have a vision for our future.”
“Wheller on the Park Retirement Community in Chermside is a hidden gem. You can be as active as you want or just take it easy. We stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens and the Downfall Creek Reserve, or take the courtesy bus to the shopping centre, library or club. There’s a wonderful sense of friendship and community spirit. We enjoy all the activities on offer, like happy hour, the monthly concerts, the on-site café and leisure centre, all without having to get in the car. We feel so safe and secure, there’s no maintenance and we have used Wesley Mission Queensland’s integrated on-site services like allied health and home delivered meals, which is so convenient.”
“For over four years, each morning I have had a carer come to support me with daily tasks, including showering, dressing and preparing my medication. Of course, the best part is they also make me coffee and we have a chat – it sets me up for the day. Care is such an important part of my life; it is a real comfort to know that my carers will be there each morning."
"If I wake up during the night with any concerns, I feel supported knowing that it won’t be long until the carers are here. It’s more like having a friend visit, I look forward to seeing them. I’m still independent and thanks to the support of my carers, I get to enjoy my home, garden, dogs and chooks even longer. They are like my extended family and I couldn’t be happier.”
“If I didn’t get help from the Logan Youth Foyer a year ago, I’d be homeless, living on the streets. When I was ten I was being physically beaten and missing school so I decided to go to the local police station and ask for help. My brothers and sisters and I were immediately taken away from the family home. My childhood was tough and I’ve got a lot of anger but I think I’m a stronger person because of it. Since moving to the Foyer I’ve been named a Queensland Indigenous Youth Leader and a Create Ambassador, I’ve got my P-plates and I’m studying with the aim of building a career in Information Technology. The Foyer has had a big impact on my life. I’m more outgoing now; I used to not like going outside or talking to people, but I’m now enjoying social outings and for my birthday this year, I went horse riding with other residents from the foyer. I’m now working with the Indigenous Youth Leadership program. I talk to aboriginal people about problems affecting communities, and on some occasions I talk to board members about child safety. In the end, if I can make things safe for the next generation of children, then that’s great.”
“I like the interaction with other young mums. The information in the group sessions is really useful. You learn new stuff every time you come here. There are lots of opportunities to get stuff that you really need that you might not have, like emergency nappies and clothes. I get peace and quiet because Violet loves the other mums and bubs and the relaxed environment. I like the advice the other mums share with me. I recommend YHES House to my sister and friends!”
“We have waited a long time for Helen to have this wonderful opportunity at life; she now embraces life in a positive and happy way. Her life prior was no real life, it was merely an existence, one that we are glad to see gone. You have taken so much worry and stress from not just our precious loved ones, but from us as well. I no longer worry about Helen, I know she is happy and doing just fine without my constant input.Thank you to everyone for the care and attention she receives every day.” Brenda and Daryl (Helen’s sister and brother in law).
“The Gap Child Care Centre is a beautiful family centred care setting. When you enter the centre you are greeted with smiles and welcomes from all staff members. Everyone in the centre knows each and every child and all of their family members. Our daughter Eliza has been attending the centre for the last three years and she has experienced so many wonderful learning opportunities in the classroom, on excursions and also the creative explorations that are offered around the centre. The main priority of the centre is to ensure that each child has an opportunity to develop and learn in their own way. We are so happy to have found this centre, as Eliza has grown from being a shy, reserved child to a confident and inquisitive learner."
Dan and Adriana’s daughter Eliza attends The Gap Child Care Centre
“We’ve had a busy year at the Wooloowin supported accommodation community. In June last year we were invited to attend the Brisbane Winter Festival where residents got to go ice skating and meet the pop band Sheppard. For many residents this was their first time feeling snow fall on their faces and was a real highlight. In February residents saw Powderfinger perform at the Youngcare Charity concert and met Darren Lockyer. We’ve been to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the Planetarium and for many social outings as a group. The residents are all really close and we have a wonderful sense of respect and friendship here.”
Amanda is the Coordinator of the Wesley Mission Queensland and Youngcare Wooloowin sharehouse
The Manager of our supported accommodation community on the Sunshine Coast, Kirin Hagicostas, her husband Elias, and sons D’Mitri (14 and Andreus 9) have been actively involved with the home since it opened four years ago. While Kirin and Elias work at the home, the whole family volunteer most days of the week, going above and beyond in their support of the residents, their families and the staff. The children have grown up with the residents and volunteer after school and during the school holidays helping with odd jobs, watering the gardens, reading and playing games with the residents and taking them to the movies and on memorable day trips. Kirin and Elias try to accommodate the wishes of the residents and volunteer to take them on special trips to Brisbane for events like the State of Origin and QPAC concerts. The whole Wesley Care Tewantin team received the Team Award at the Wesley Mission Queensland Spirit of Queensland Gala Dinner in 2016 in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the Wesley Charter in creating a connected, loving and inclusive home for the six residents who live there. “We do it because we can. I look at what our residents can’t do, and what we can do, and there’s no excuse for not being able to help people. Our kids have been exposed to people living with disabilities and aged care homes from birth, as that’s where Elias and I have mostly worked, and they’ve picked up on our quality of being compassionate to others and helping out wherever it’s needed. People love kids and we all aim to provide our residents with as many wonderful experiences as we can.”
The Hagicostas family all volunteer at Wesley Care Tewantin