Re­treat a hit with fam­i­lies need­ing respite

North West Telegraph - - News - Robert Dougherty

Fam­i­lies in need have been mak­ing the most of Port Hed­land’s Pil­bara Re­treat, with ev­ery week­end fully booked for the past three months and more than 10 fam­i­lies stay­ing since it opened in March.

The Re­treat, opened ear­lier this year by Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Min­is­ter Stephen Daw­son wel­comes any­one in the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme for a free respite stay un­til De­cem­ber.

The fa­cil­ity was hard-fought for by the lo­cal com­mu­nity and de­vel­oped by the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties be­fore be­ing built and awarded to Em­pow­er­ing Peo­ple In Com­mu­ni­ties to de­liver ser­vices from March 19.

New dis­abil­ity and respite co­or­di­na­tor Chris­tine Pom­pei, who started on Oc­to­ber 8, said the fa­cil­ity was built to help car­ers of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity to take a break.

“We want the com­mu­nity to come and en­joy it . . . there’s an ac­tiv­i­ties hub which groups can make book­ings for com­mu­nity works and meet­ings, its beau­ti­ful why not share it,” she said.

“It was a big fight to get this place for the com­mu­nity, it’s open to any­one in the Pil­bara.”

South Hed­land’s Ja­cob Hair, 16, who has cooked and stayed at the re­treat said, “it’s awe­some, big­ger and bet­ter” than reg­u­lar homes and had ap­pli­ances for cook­ing muffins, pan­cakes and other foods as a fun ac­tiv­ity.

Pic­ture: Robert Dougherty

Gjivinny 'JV' Kyara and Ja­cob Hair, 16, cook­ing at the Pil­bara Re­treat in Port Hed­land.

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