MEDIA RELEASE – Australia’s first ‘live in’ training homes for people with disabilities to be built at Caloundra

For immediate release

10 March 2016

More than four million people in Australia have some form of disability (or 1 in 5) with approximately half of this group (2.2M) having moderate to mild ‘core activity limitations’ who could lead independent lives with the right support and life skills training.

The Murphy family have joined STEPS Charity, and a growing number of Sunshine Coast tradies and businesses, to provide the opportunity for independent living to ease the burden on people with disabilities, their families, health care providers and the community.

The Murphy’s, Ben, his sister Brooke Bastien and father Leigh, of Murphy Homes, are donating a great deal of time and resources to STEPS Charity to build the Pathways Project, live in training home for people with disabilities to learn the skills to live independently.

The family form part of an expanding group of local tradespeople, businesses and members of the community working together to build this iconic prototype at Caloundra with the potential to expand the concept nation wide.

“Just like a lot of the tradies and suppliers coming on board, we wanted to get involved in this project because we felt it was our responsibility to give back to the community, which has given so much to us over the past 30 years,” Ben said.

“Whether it’s disability, injury or illness, there’s not one person who hasn’t been affected by it,” Ben said.

“What you and I can do and what people with disabilities can do are at times worlds apart, so we say make a difference when you can – your life’s not that bad.”

With a boom in the market right now, he added that the level of commitment from their subcontractors and local business has been outstanding and says a lot about the type of people they are how important they feel the project is in the community.

Ms Bastien said she is really looking forward to seeing the reaction of those with disabilities who will benefit from the project when it’s finished and providing hope for parents wondering what’s going to happen with their children later in life.

“Like anything, giving someone something to make life better, is really rewarding,” Leigh said.

“We’re very lucky with our lot and every day we live without injury, illness or disability is a bonus we can’t take for granted.”

The aim of the Pathways project is to teach people with disabilities skills like cooking, cleaning, budgeting and more while they live in purpose built training homes, which reflect independent living.

“While there is 24 hour support on hand for students who are learning, it will be their responsibility to cook and clean and entertain friends and family whenever they like, just as they would in their own home,” Ms Carmel Crouch, managing director STEPS Group Australia said.

“We feel it’s a game changer for people with a disability and a great opportunity to enjoy new independence, while putting new life skills into practice.”

“We can’t thank Murphy Homes and the generosity of local contractors and suppliers enough,” she said.

“Murphy Homes have been instrumental in moving this project forward and we would be nowhere near starting if it wasn’t for their expertise and support in making this a reality.”

All levels of Government have been highly supportive of the project as an innovative solution to the disability housing crisis and a positive step in improving the lives of people with a disability.

The STEPS Pathways build is due to be completed in late June this year.

To get involved in the project or find out more information visit “STEPS Pathways Project”

at stepsgroup.com.au or call 07 5458 3000.

Media are invited to attend the Turning of the Sod opening event to mark the beginning of the build of STEPS Pathways. Great interview and visual opportunities with Mayor Jamieson, Murphy Homes, STEPS Charity and local families with children with disabilities.

When: 9.00am Friday 11 March 2016
Where: STEPS Group Australia 9 George Street, Caloundra (or access at the end of Ulm St, Caloundra)
What’s on: Turning of the Sod to launch the construction of STEPS Pathways Project with Mayor Mark Jamieson, representatives from Murphy Homes and STEPS Charity. A light morning tea will be served.

Ben Murphy | Murphy Homes
Ben Murphy, ready to lead the Pathways Project build and give back in an Australian first at Caloundra.
Image: Melanie Wright

Murphy Homes | The Murphy Family
The Murphy family (L to R) Brooke Bastien, Leigh Murphy & Ben Murphy are ready to give back.
Image: Melanie Wright

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Julie Coulthard

Content Marketer
STEPS Group Australia
07 5458 3000
PO Box 1139, Caloundra QLD 4551

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