’Inviting’ safe space to expand Ipswich disability services
WELLBEING and keeping connected are values that form the backbone of a new community hub soon to open in Ipswich.
The original Focal Hub provides a "home away from home" for its clients - those who face hurdles in their lives, relating to mental health or disabilities.
But, since the first hub's launch in 1985, space has begun to run out, due to a National Disability Insurance Scheme reform, allowing more people to access the support they need.
Focal Community Services CEO Mickael Blanc said the organisation's clients sought a place where they could meet with people face-to-face.
"What we provide is an environment where they know who is there, they can come and have a chat," Mr Blanc said.
"They can come have a coffee, discuss things and then go into the community."
The old Bendigo Bank building on the corner of Brisbane Road and South Station Road, Booval, has transformed into a new hub and is set to open its doors on November 5.
"It's a place in the community where people can gather and do exactly what you and I do, which is have a beer with a friend, have a nice meal, and access the services you and I take for granted," Mr Blanc said.
"It's a place to feel safe and secure and can come spend time with friends - for a lot of the members of our community, it's very difficult for them to feel comfortable going out."
The new Booval hub is the first of four to come.
"The one opening in Booval is only our first stepping stone," he said.
"(It will be a) fantastic facility for the local community and will provide an inviting and relaxing interior for those living with a disability".
Hubs are planned for Mt Ommaney, Logan, and Brisbane's northside.
Focal Community Services was founded 50 years ago and currently supports about 600 families in Southeast Queensland.
"We had a house loaned to us from the Department of Housing and that's where we started delivering services in the late 70s, early 80s," Mr Blanc said.
The old Ipswich police station became the organisation's home in the early 2000s, giving it more space, a leafy garden and a shed for woodwork.
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