After walking approximately 120 kilometers across the municipality, City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon completed her Mayor’s Walk for Disability on Sunday.
It was with an overwhelming feeling of emotion that Cr Stapledon walked through the gates of Myuna Farm, following the nine-day event.
Cr Stapledon proudly announced today that close to $30,000 was raised through the event, with all proceeds to be donated to the Wolfdene Foundation’s Project 28 initiative.
Project 28 will see the construction of supported accommodation units for people in Casey who live with a disability and are still in the care of their ageing parents or carers.
The initiative will also address a current shortfall of 28,000 households Australia wide for people living with a disability and strives to achieve 28 supported accommodation units by the year 2028.
Cr Stapledon said she could not thank everyone enough who both participated and donated, and felt immense pride that her walk had not only raised funds for the supported accommodation units, but had also raised awareness of the challenges faced by people who live with a disability, and their carers.
“I would like to sincerely thank the residents of Casey, community groups and local businesses for hosting me and cheering me along the way, for your morning and afternoon teas, coffees and donations – I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Cr Stapledon said.
“While I set out to raise both funds and awareness for Project 28, it was also important to shine a spotlight on the amazing community groups we have in Casey, particularly local disability agencies.
“I believe that every person, no matter what their ability, should have the right of passage to leave home and to live in their ‘forever’ home that is safe, homely and a place to live their best life.
“I also believe that we should be giving comfort to their carers that when they are no longer with us, their adult child is well cared for,” Cr Stapledon said.
Jonathan Atchison, Director of the Wolfdene Foundation, said as a major developer of land in Casey, they saw Project 28 as a wonderful opportunity to help alleviate some of the challenges and pressure faced by local families.
“Through Project 28, we can provide somewhere for adults with a disability to live that is comfortable and supported, and close enough to their families so they can have easy and regular contact,” he said.
Throughout her campaign, Cr Stapledon met Christine Ritchie, whose 82-year-old father Anton is the main carer for her 43-year-old brother, Anthony, who has a severe intellectual disability and was also recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Cr Stapledon said these families are an example of why she is putting so much time and effort into fundraising for this cause, because, as Christine said, ‘these supported accommodation units would be an ideal outcome for Anthony and my father.’
During the nine days, Cr Stapledon visited more than 45 local community groups and walked from all ends of the city, including Lynbrook, Endeavour Hills, Tooradin and Narre Warren.
You can still donate to Project 28 via GoveNow, and to view photos from the event, please visit the City of Casey Facebook page.