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Giving spirit helps seniors maintain connection, mobility, and happiness

A much-needed wheelchair for residents at this social housing complex

This story was originally published on Churches of Christ's website.

A spate of hospital visits for various residents at our Dianella Apartments at Mitchelton has impacted people’s ability to join in on the regular social activities this tight-knit community enjoy.

Residents at this community love to start their weeks off with a Monday morning get-together over coffee or breakfast, an event organised by their Housing Chaplain. Sharing a meal and being amongst good company with their neighbours, as well as residents from the nearby residential aged care and retirement village, helps to start the week off on a good note.

While many social housing residents receive support through a care worker to do household basics such as grocery shopping and cleaning, this does not always mean their social needs are being met. Residents often talk to us about feeling valued and supported as a tenant of Churches of Christ and that their connection to their community gives them a sense of belonging.

A very meaningful donation

Staff and residents from Churches of Christ's Dianella Apartments with the donated wheelchair

GIVIT is a website where partner organisations can create requests for material donations to support their clients and has been one way we have addressed the needs we identify in our communities.

Less than a week after making a request for a wheelchair, a ‘giver’ only eight kilometres away from the Dianella Apartments responded with an offer: a second-hand wheelchair in excellent condition with a tyre pump included.

Housing Chaplain John, who supports five communities in Brisbane with pastoral care support and community development activities, organised to meet the giver and pick up the wheelchair. When he arrived, he met Pearl and her partner. The wheelchair they were donating was Pearl’s mother’s, who had recently passed away. They told John they wanted it go to someone else who needed it, so they listed it on GIVIT.

"Having this wheelchair means people can continue to attend appointments and join in activities even when their health makes it more difficult. The original inspiration came from someone wanting to attend the coffee club on Monday mornings, but was unable to due to mobility issues.

This is common for a lot of the residents, who may not have had access to this type of support in the past. We make a real effort to understand what our communities need and what we can do to help them.” 

- Housing Chaplain John, Churches of Christ

Mobility and connection for all

Enabling residents to access the services and events our Chaplains and Community Engagement teams provide is important in ensuring all our residents can benefit equally.

The wheelchair donated by Pearl will remain at the Mitchelton campus where residents can access it as and when they need it.

Ensuring everybody can be an active part of their community is as important as having a safe place to live. We believe that when people have somewhere to call home, their community, family and individual wellbeing needs can all also be nurtured.

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