Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot and Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin today announced five one-off grants worth $293,326 for respite services in the North Coast.

Respite services provide valuable time-out for people who care for their friends or family members with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The five grants for the region are part of the 342 funding grants worth more than $6 million. They are for one-off funding grants for community-based respite services across the country.

The $6.8 million is funded under the Australian Government’s commitment to carers through the National Respite for Carers Program, which is providing $194 million in 2008-09.

Mrs Elliot said: “Carers across this nation play an important role in Australian society. They dedicate so much to improve the quality of the lives of our nation’s elderly and for people with disabilities.

“Caring for someone full-time is physically and emotionally demanding and carers need to be able to take deserved breaks.”

Mrs Elliot and Ms Saffin made the $293,326 announcement at the United Protestant Association (UPA) NSW service at the Far North Coast Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre.    

The service provides a single point of contact for carers requiring information on or assistance with accessing respite in the region. The centre has been approved for one-off funding of $186,195 for equipment and a training project.

In addition to the UPA service, the four other local organisations to receive funding are:

  • Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre Respite, Evans Head – $10,000 for database development
  • Community Programs Incorporated, Grafton- $23,498 for appliances and flooring
  • Red Dove Social Group, Goonellabah – $23,395 for insulation and a wheelchair
  • Ballina District Community Services Association Incorporated – $50,238 for an extension, kitchen equipment and furniture.
    Ms Saffin said: “I am delighted to see such important local services that deliver grassroots services funded in our region.

“This funding will help them carry out much-needed work and to purchase equipment and furniture.

“These one-off grants are about helping those at the community level that will improve and support respite services for our carers across the North Coast.”

People caring for an elderly or disabled person can access short-term and emergency respite through the Far North Coast Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on Freecall 1800 052 222.