Emma Ruby House opens
The Ricky Stuart Foundation, in partnership with the ACT Government has constructed a new short-term accommodation centre for young people who have autism or other disabilities. This Centre, to be named “Emma Ruby House” is located in Cook, ACT. It will be operated by The Disability Trust.
Construction is complete and it is time to thank the many individuals and organisations who have generously donated labour, products, services and materials.
The ACT Government contributed land and $1.376m to the project. The Ricky Stuart Foundation contributed $400, 000 by way of cash and in-kind contributions and contracted the construction of the building.
Some 50 companies provided their products and services on a pro-bono or heavily-discounted basis (see Attachment). The key contributors included:
- JGS Property, who managed the whole process on behalf of RSF.
- Cox Architecture, who designed the building and its specialised fit-out.
- MANTEENA, who managed the actual construction
- Harvey Norman Commercial, who donated furniture & appliances, kitchen & bathroom fittings, air conditioning and hot water equipment.
- The Snow Foundation, who donated money to assist with construction.
The centre comprises; six bedrooms, modified bathrooms, kitchen, dining, breakout rooms, laundry etc; an office and car/bus parking; interactive landscaping and outdoor play equipment.
All substantive contributors are recognised on an honour board in the entrance to the building and on the Ricky Stuart Foundation website. They will also be recognised at the official opening.
Ricky personally thanks the ACT Government and its highly skilled and enthusiastic employees.
Autism is a disability that basically inhibits the ability of some children to develop social skills, communication skills, learning skills and empathy. It can be mild to severe on the autism spectrum.
The Value of Respite
A short-term accommodation option enables young people with a disability to stay for a few hours or overnight, offering respite to both the family and the young person. Respite care achieves several very important things:
- Parents and other family members can take a break from what might otherwise be a very tough 24/7 role.
- The young person gets to spend time in a new environment with highly specialised care and facilities. They can experience new things and make new friends.
- The young person has an opportunity to become more independent (which will be increasingly important in later life).