Member for Central Wheatbelt Hon Mia Davies MLA has officially opened the newly renovated Essential Personnel Skills and Living Centre in Northam.
The upgrades, made possible by a generous LotteryWest grant of $286,410, include modifications to improve accessibility for customers and the community.
Cutting the ribbon and congratulating the Board and staff for delivering the project, Ms Davies said it was an honour to be asked to mark the occasion after she officially opened the building in 2013.
“The Skills Centre is a valuable community asset providing a safe space for customers to learn life skills to live as independently as possible, set personal goals, socialise and pursue education, all in a safe space that is now modern and accessible,” Ms Davies said.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to live independently, to work, and to connect to their community.”
Upgrades undertaken by local business Multicon include new floors, a redesigned bathroom and kitchen space, automatic doors and a number of other improvements to modernise the building.
Ms Davies said LotteryWest was an important source of funding for not-for-profit service providers across the State.
“It’s a system unique to Western Australia where you buy a Lotto ticket from your local newsagency and the proceeds go to support projects like this,” she said.
She also said COVID and transitioning to NDIS had presented challenges over the past few years, but the Essential Personnel Board and staff had worked hard during this time and were looking to expand and enhance their support services for the wheatbelt.
“I look forward to working with the team to support their future plans for our wheatbelt community,” she said.
The Skills Centre provides space for therapy, group and individual activities, learning life skills to live independently and support for individuals and families in the region.
Essential Personnel was established in 1989 to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities, their first office established in the wheatbelt.
Since 1997, they have secured over 1600 jobs for people with intellectual, learning, physical, sensory, psychiatric and neurological disabilities and are the longest serving employment agency in the Central Wheatbelt.