Endeavour Foundation building a brighter future after floods

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh joined Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo and clients today in Durack to turn the sod on a new $1.066M building project, with assistive technologies to promote greater independence.

When devastating floodwaters hit last January, Endeavour Foundation moved quickly to ensure the safe evacuation of seven people with a disability, from their long-time home overlooking the river at Goodna.

Today’s new project in Durack was started early in response to flood damage.

Premier Bligh said the new project, part of the Endeavour Foundation’s No More Than 4 Beds program, was a shining example of Queensland coming back bigger and better after the 2011 floods.

“The devastation of last summer’s natural disasters will be long remembered, but so will Queensland’s determination to recover and rebuild,” Ms Bligh said.

“This project will provide permanent homes to for people with a disability who are keen to live independently, and I congratulate the Endeavour Foundation for fast-tracking its construction.

“While the floodwaters brought devastation for residents of Endeavour Foundation's Goodna property, today begins another positive chapter, with better accommodation choices.

“The Endeavour Foundation are no strangers to determination - their tireless work to support Queenslanders with disabilities is built around it – and this project will make a world of difference to seven people’s lives,” she said.

CEO David Barbagallo said fortunately support staff were able to find nearby short-term accommodation in other Endeavour Foundation properties, after the Goodna house was ruined by floodwaters reaching the second floor.

“However this placed additional pressure on existing accommodation services, and Endeavour Foundation has expedited construction of these new houses as a result,” Mr Barbagallo said.

“In Durack we will provide two modern houses for seven people with a disability, using accessible design principles and incorporating technologies which allow greater independence for residents,” he said.

“The technology can be tailored to suit the needs of any individual living there, with optional environmental sensors to detect gas, smoke, and fire; entry and exit sensors; help alarms and panic buttons.

“If needed, we can even set up a sensor to detect when a tap has been left running and caused water to overflow. With this technology we can continue tailoring a great environment with safety and independence for tenants as they begin to age.

“Including the land purchase, construction and furnishings, these houses represent a $1.066M commitment for Endeavour Foundation. In the past financial year we spent almost $8M on new accommodation and facilities, and are on track to do the same in 2011-2012.

“Much of this is dedicated to our ambitious, self-funded No More Than 4 Beds project, which will give 300 residents more choice, a pleasant living environment and greater opportunities for independence,” he said.

In October Endeavour Foundation opened three brand new two- and three-bedroom houses at Redbank, assisted by a $200,000 donation from the RACQ Foundation.

“Some clients have been accommodated in a large residential centre along with 14 other people. For them, the move to a house with two or three other tenants has been a truly life-changing opportunity, and we want to make this available to as many people as possible,” Mr Barbagallo said.

Endeavour Foundation’s No More Than 4 Beds project is a commitment to upgrade and develop residential services into contemporary homes with no more than four co-tenants.

The program will deliver 300 bedrooms in brand new homes for Endeavour Foundation clients, in just eight years.

Established in 1951, Endeavour Foundation provides accommodation, education, training, vocational and lifestyle opportunities for more than 3,350 people with a disability at 230 locations, in Queensland and New South Wales.


MEDIA CONTACT:


Kirrily Boulton, Media & Communications Manager
Mob.0429 077 886, email k.boulton@endeavour