Helping people to live independently

Challenge Southern Highlands is a community based charity that provides supported employment for people living with disabilities. Challenge operates the Welby Garden Centre as an Australian Disabilities Enterprise providing employment to over 40 individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Challenge was started some 30 years ago by concerned parents who realised that their child had nowhere to go after leaving school.  As the parents were concerned about where their child would go after leaving school there is now a concern as to where their adult child will go when the parent is no longer capable of caring for them. This is a major concern for the parents, where will their child live, will they be able to cope by themselves and can they take care of themselves. For this reason we are building Challenge House.

The purpose of Challenge Southern Highlands is to assist people with disabilities develop skills to enable them to be gainfully employed and to reach their full potential.  The purpose of Challenge House is to enable an adult child who is currently living with their parent(s) to transition to living independently.

The individuals who will reside in the house will be given the skills to tend for themselves, cook, clean and to live outside of the umbrella of their parents. When the residents are fully capable of living independently it is hoped that they would then move from the Challenge House into public housing.

The goal is to achieve this transition during the lifetime of the parents.

The Challenge House will accommodate ten studio style rooms with their own ensuite and tea making facilities there will also be an onsite caretakers residence. The house will have a communal kitchen and dining area as well as a lounge and breakout room.

The residents will be supported to learn to live independently. They will learn to prepare meals, maintain their surrounds, live with other people and tend to the associated requirements of these activities.

It will be the first step for the residents to learn to live independently and to fend for themselves. The house will give those residents the same opportunity that you and most of us have had. That is the opportunity to move out of home. Challenge House will also give the parents the comfort of knowing that their adult child is gaining the skills to live independently.

The house is being built from the ground up and we need support to make it happen. That support can be by donating materials, goods, sponsoring a room or by making a tax deductible cash donation.

We hope the above gives some insight into the project. It is one that is worthy of support and one that will benefit people who tend not to have the same opportunities as the general community. Any assistance you are able to provide to the project would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Tony McElhinney General Manager of Challenge Southern Highlands to discuss how you can support the Challenge House project.