Cerebral Palsy Alliance opens new therapy centre in Erina

Staff at the new Erina centre

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance has opened a new therapy centre at Erina, with a morning tea and tour of the facility for potential supporters set for April 29.

The centre has big goals to support people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities on the Coast and is looking for support from local businesses and individuals.

Corporate Partnerships Manager, Kristie Steggles, said in Australia, a child is born with cerebral palsy every 20 hours.

“It’s the most common disability in childhood, a permanent condition caused by damage to the developing brain,” she said.

“Cerebral palsy affects movement, posture and speech and imposes a severe physical, emotional and economic burden on individuals, families and the communities in which they live.

“Cerebral Palsy Alliance was founded 75 years ago by parents of children with cerebral palsy.

“We now have therapy sites throughout NSW supporting people with cerebral palsy and other physical and neurological disabilities.”

Steggles said demand for disability services has dramatically increased on the Central Coast, driven by families moving to the area attracted by property affordability and great lifestyle.

“The population is forecast to grow by 19.7 per cent in coming years, 20 per cent of whom will be people living with disability,” she said.

“Until recently, children living on the Central Coast have been missing out on life-changing therapy and essential support.

“Early and frequent therapy can mean the difference between a life of emotional and physical hardship, and a quality of life filled with hope, progress and happiness for the whole family.

“Our existing therapy centre in Tuggerah has been operating at capacity.

“Over 80 per cent of our clients at Tuggerah are under 18; however there is inadequate space for group programs for young people to develop essential life skills to support their transition to adulthood.”

It was this need for more space which led to the opening of the new Erina centre, which is still in need of essential disability resources and equipment.

These include augmented alternative communication equipment, to support children with verbal impairments ‘speak’ and communicate using technology; tools and assessment to help determine diagnosis, prognosis, goals and treatments; and early intervention therapy equipment for babies and toddlers.

Opened on March 8, it will allow 180 families from the southern end of the Coast to transfer from the Tuggerah centre, reducing travel times and increasing access to therapists.

The new centre is supported by a number of generous individual donations, and a $10,000 dollar-match program by local accountancy firm AdviceCo, and their partner the Count Charitable Foundation.

The centre offers core services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and early childhood intervention, among other things.

The morning tea and tour of the new Cerebral Palsy Alliance Centre will take place from 10am-11.30am on April 29 at 3/20-24 Karalta Rd, Erina.

Businesses or individuals wishing to become involved in supporting the centre can contact kristie.steggles@cerebralpalsy.org.au

Media release, Apr 19
Cerebral Palsy Alliance