Could you be the missing piece of our respite puzzle?

You may be familiar with Lachie, a cheeky 13-year-old who is one of more than 200 children and adults with disabilities who access our Flexible Respite Service in Wantirna.

Lachie and his family are eagerly awaiting the start of an exciting project to transform the service he loves; a place to visit on weekend and during school holidays to try new activities, get out about in the community, and make new friends.

We’re thrilled to announce we are so close to reaching our $120,000 target! But we still need a little more support to get this life changing project off the ground.

As a not-for-profit organisation, Villa Maria Catholic Homes receives no funding for capital works and must rely on the generosity of the community to help us get there.

Megan Miles heads up a team of passionate staff who run the Flexible Respite Program. She says transforming the service won’t just make it look “pretty” but have a “direct and positive impact” on the lives of young people with disabilities who rely on the program.

“The majority of the 200-plus individuals we support are on the autism spectrum. This means, if they are not engaged in a way that is right for them, they can become upset, anxious, withdrawn or even angry,” Megan said.

“Boredom is one of the main catalysts. At the moment, the service space is not as interactive or engaging as it could be. There is so much potential for more!

Breaking up the space with purpose-built improvements like a new garden, climbing equipment, teepee and kitchen will mean if someone has a sensitivity to noise and crowds, they can go and play some music, or sit down in the garden and relax.

It’s such a popular program run by passionate staff, who truly care about the individuals and their experiences. We want to see them engaged, build relationships, grow and thrive. They should have access to opportunities everybody has.

Families, individuals and staff are really excited about the project and are waiting patiently for it to begin. We really hope people get behind this fundraiser because it will change lives.”

  (Current outdoor area)

 (Concept plan)

If you can help us reach our target, please call 1800 036 377 or visit