Respite weekend provides rest and relaxation

30 June 2015

St Anthony’s Family Care (SAFC) has used a $7,629 donation from Canterbury League Club to send 10 mothers and carers of children with a disability on an annual mother’s weekend away for some much needed rest and relaxation.

The mothers’ weekend was held at The Hideaway Retreat at Wentworth Falls near the Blue Mountains and the aim of the respite weekend was to provide mothers of a child with a disability a break from their regular carer’s role.

“The break provides carers the time to build relationships with other carers in a similar situation. This opportunity serves to strengthen and preserve the family unit by aiding in the reduction of the pressures that might lead to divorce, neglect and child abuse and improve the family’s ability to cope with daily responsibilities and maintain stability during a crisis,” said Jacqui Oong, Manager, Disability Services for St Anthony’s Family Care.

During the respite weekend participants had the freedom to choose how they wished to spend their time rather than have scheduled activities. Some chose to spend time relaxing by the pool reading a book or by getting massages while others travelled to tourist spots to enjoy the sights of the area. Two SAFC support coordinators also attended the event to facilitate the weekend and provide support where needed.

St Anthony’s is a flexible family inclusive organisation in Croydon which provides amenities such as an early childhood learning centre, parents and family support groups, and disability and early intervention services for children with additional needs.

“St Anthony’s employs support workers who are passionate about working with children. There are a range of workers with different qualifications and skills to ensure that the child will be cared for by staff with experience to meet the child’s support needs,” said Oong.

“Carers are in a difficult and stressful situation so it is important that they are not neglected, and their wellbeing doesn’t deteriorate at the expense of caring for their loved ones,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.