Honour caps off a top year for Lifestart charity
Organisation a finalist in National Disability Awards
THE drive, dedication and hard work of Lifestart is being acknowledged, with the St Marys charity named a finalist in the 2016 National Disability Awards.
The organisation was short-listed for the Employer of the Year category, which highlights those who provide employment opportunities for Australian people living with a disability.
Lifestart’s chief executive Suzanne Becker said in a statement: “It is a great honour to have our work recognised in this way.
“We want to promote an understanding of children and young people living with disability or delay and encourage support for their dignity, rights and wellbeing.”
The St Marys office is one of the registered charity’s nine centres across Sydney and services the wider Nepean and Blue Mountains region. It also covers the Hawkesbury area, meaning more individuals and families affected by disability can be supported through its various services.
Lifestart St Marys (Nepean) was one of the Natopma; Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout sites following the last State Government election.
It has also been trialling the early intervention early childhood approach, supporting children who might be developmentally struggling.
The centre runs play groups where children and young people can meet other families, but it mostly works in the environment families are in. The thrill of being named finalists has coincided with more excitement for the organisation, with Lifestart celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Since opening its doors in 1996 with just eight families, the charity’s outreach has grown immensely.
Lifestart now supports more than 2500 families.
Winners of the National Disability Awards will be announced on November 7.
The awards are part of the Federal Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability on December 3.
Lifestart’s Suzanne Becker.