Enhancing quality of life with improved access

Community stories: 24 June 2021

Murray Human Services, trading as Vivid, provides a range of programs and services to people living with disabilities in the northern agricultural region of Victoria. 

Burke House is a boutique residential facility in Echuca, providing six people 24/7 care and support. The home has deep roots in the community, and is named after Afton Burke who campaigned for her son to have a suitable home where he could live. Vivid wanted to continue to honour the history of this special place, while also ensuring it upheld modern standards of accessibility. 

Vivid’s team of dedicated staff are committed to empowering residents to live as independently as possible and be involved members of the house and community. Following a building survey by the council and advice on how to best upgrade the facility to improve accessibility, particularly for wheelchairs, it was decided the current ramp fell short and would need replacing. But such improvements don’t come cheap. Thankfully, a $13,200 grant from FRRR through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal Program was combined with funding from the Roy Ogden Foundation to cover the costs. The new ramp, which includes handrails, a less steep incline, a smoother transition to the ramp and wider area to rotate the chairs to access the home, provides safer access for residents, as well an enhanced quality of life. 

The ramp has been a ‘hit’ with residents with a staff member noting, “The accessibility for the residents in wheelchairs was immediately improved by this project.”