A young and vibrant home
A young and vibrant home
When ROCKCOTE heard that Youngcare were building a new share house in Wooloowin, we were more than happy to support the project through donation of ROCKCOTE products.
Samantha Kennerley, Youngcare CEO noted that: “Using ROCKCOTE EcoStyle reflects Youngcare’s dedication to delivering high quality homes suited to the lifestyles of young people with high care needs, with an emphasis on homely, non-clinical features and a natural colour palate.”
Youngcare is a charity whose mission is to assist young Australians with high care needs to exit or avoid aged care and live with greater independence, choice and dignity. Finding appropriate care options for young people with high care needs continues to be a struggle for many families, and Youngcare aims to help provide choice in care and the accommodation that young people with high needs deserve.
Chris Cameron, ROCKCOTE Director, has been involved with Youngcare since May 2013, when Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, introduced her to the charity. As a member of the Youngcare Changemakers program, it is a charity that Chris holds close to her heart.
Chris stated that, “ROCKCOTE were happy to support Youngcare through the donation of product.”
Youngcare currently has three completed developments within Queensland, with further plans to develop and build in Wooloowin (Stage II) and Albany Creek, Brisbane and Youngcare’s first New South Wales project in Auburn, Sydney. As Youngcare does not receive recurrent government funding, it relies on the generosity of community and corporate sponsors to help raise funds and awareness.
Samantha noted that, “Our accommodation works to support the 7,000 young Australians aged under 65 years currently residing in aged care in Australia, and the further 700,000 being cared for at home by loved ones. Being young is about having a lifetime ahead of you, yet residential aged care is intended for individuals at the end of their life – and is not designed or resourced to support the needs and aspirations of young people and their ongoing participation in the community or their families.”
When speaking about the reasons behind selecting Wooloowin for the location of the Share House, Samantha stated:
“At the core of Youngcare’s mission is building accommodation solutions in accessible locations that provide young people with high care needs the opportunity to live as independently as possible, where these young people can personalise their space and enjoy opportunities for growth and learning.
“Data from the Department of Communities suggests there are currently about 420 unmet requests for supported accommodation in Brisbane’s north, where Wooloowin is located – the second highest amount across Queensland. These Australians are living with round-the-clock complex care needs and are facing a severe shortage in housing options.
“Opening its doors in July 2015, the Share House was built in response to the overwhelming need for age-appropriate accommodation for young Australians with high care needs. Located just over six kilometres from Brisbane’s CBD, the development provides a practical alternative to aged care, where young people can live independent lives while receiving age-appropriate and dignified care.
“We believe this house is the first of its kind in Queensland, using consumer-led research to identify preferred design elements in response to rigorous direct feedback about what young people with high care needs want from their home environment.”
The exterior design of the home considered feedback from community consultation as well as the traditional appeal of the existing houses on the street, while the functionality of the home was the key focus of the design brief provided to COX Architecture.
Samantha Kennerley stated: “The Youngcare Share House is designed to look and feel like any other home; it is comfortable, spacious and conducive to the lifestyles of young people. Designed in collaboration with Cox Rayner Architects, the house has been carefully developed to provide the greatest support to the housemates – from floor finishes and flat thresholds that allow housemates to move around freely and with ease, to lower bench heights in the kitchen and lower window heights throughout the house.
“Each private bedroom is fully en-suited and includes a ceiling-mounted track hoist, providing a dignified and safe means for housemates to transfer from bed, to chair, to bathroom. A home automation system including wireless voice control, automatic doors and an iPad to operate the television, blinds, lights, ceiling fan, bedside lamp, air conditioning and bed promotes optimal independence for each housemate in their private rooms. The laundry is also fully accessible and the main shared kitchen features under-bench wheelchair access and tailored appliances.
“Under the guidance of Youngcare’s three-year research partnership with Griffith University, the design of the building is influenced by the components of care that will operate within the building. Those include: rehabilitation and health support; decentralised personalised care; and health promotion and wellness.”
“We are delighted to partner with ROCKCOTE to have brought this innovative house to life, and provide greater choice, independence and dignity to the four young people who now call it home,” Samantha stated.
ROCKCOTE Quick Render Grey, sponge finished was also used externally on the retaining walls, with two coats of ROCKCOTE Armour. This external pop of colour also helps add vibrance to the exterior of the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House, while still blending in well with the rest of the street.
Cox Rayner Architects were pleased to learn of the donation of ROCKCOTE products for the project, having worked with ROCKCOTE previously they knew that these are “great products”. Although they had not worked with EcoStyle previously, they were especially pleased with the zero VOC nature of the paint.
The four new housemates have since moved into the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House: Brian, Trina, Nick and Jenna. Each of them has brought a fantastic vibrance and personalisation to the house, making it feel like home.
Brian lived in a long-term rehabilitation facility before he moved into the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House. Due to a spiked drink while he was on shore leave from an Iraq deployment as part of his time serving for the Australian Navy, he incurred a traumatic brain injury. His room displays his accomplishments from his time in the Navy, as well treasured souvenirs.
Nick is enjoying life at the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House, which is a “far cry from his previous living arrangements which did not meet his needs or aspirations for how he wanted to live life” (Youngcare). His mother, Gill said, “Whenever I pop round, he is in the beautiful light and spacious living area, interacting and having fun with the carers and other housemates.
“The feeling of relief, knowing he is living somewhere where he is happy and well cared for is indescribable – I feel like I have got my life back too, and can live without the constant worry of Nick being somewhere he isn’t safe and happy.” (Youngcare)
Jenna loves gardening, baking and attending her weekly theatre group with Nick. All of this is made possible at the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House, where she can participate in the activities she enjoys. She also loves music and all things girly.
Trina was a highly regarded medical scientist working on the Gold Coast when a stroke left her in a wheelchair, paralysed on the left side of her body. She had moved into an aged care facility as a result, where “any sort of display of independence was frowned on,” Trina said (Youngcare). “I went from being a scientist working on immunotherapy to fight breast cancer to a place where there was very little stimulus; it was miserable” she said. Since moving into the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House she said that she has noticed how much of a difference it has made.
The Youngcare Wooloowin Share House has provided these four young people with an accessible home that provides them with greater choice, independence and dignity.
Samantha stated that, “The success of the Youngcare Wooloowin Share House model has already been made evident, where in less than three months, one of the housemates – who for the past 13 years has been nonverbal, on a soft diet and showered exclusively in a shower bed – has begun verbalising several words, is now on a full diet and is sitting upright to shower in a shower chair. These changes represent the gains that can be achieved through age-appropriate accommodation and support.
“A glimpse into the Share House shows a hive of activity, with plenty of laughter, cooking, playing music and watching movies. Two housemates regularly participate in a local theatre group, and all enjoy having family and friends over for a coffee or a barbecue out on the deck.
Care at the Share House is provided by Wesley Mission Brisbane and has been designed to suit the needs and lifestyles of young people who require complex care. Each housemate receives one-on-one, personalised support, enabling the carers working at the Share House to respond to each individual’s care priorities, needs and choices. This also offers housemates the freedom to choose what they want to do, when they want to do it.”
At ROCKCOTE we are proud to have been able to help provide resources to assist Youngcare in providing such an uplifting development for young people with high care needs, such as Brian, Nick, Jenna and Trina.
Youngcare Wooloowin Share House
Architect: Cox Rayner Architects
Builder: Beebe Constructions
Painter: Brooks & Lee
Photography: Ross Eason, Eason Creative Photography