Cowra Information and Neighbourhood Centre opens new disability service

CINC's newest building 8 Stewart Street was opened on Monday morning.
CINC's newest building 8 Stewart Street was opened on Monday morning.

The Cowra Information and Neighbourhood Centre (CINC) has taken another step in the disability space with the opening of their new facility at 8 Stewart Street.

In opening the new facility, CINC CEO Fran Stead said an expansion of their disability support services made perfect sense for the organisation.

"Our motto is 'Locals Supporting Locals' and we're about building stronger communities," she said.

"So we can't leave areas of our community out.

"This isn't something we just woke up and thought "we'll get into the disability space", it's been something in our strategic plan for some time and we were just figuring out when was the right time to jump," she said.

Ms Stead said the new facility would expand their services from home modifications and maintenance and targeted early intervention programs.

"We will have day programs for adults with a disability, small groups that are focused and aligned on the individual's goals so we can see outcomes," she said.

"They will be maxed at 12 participants on any one day. We want to go for quality not quantity.

"We'll also have afternoon groups running after school, for seven to 16-year-olds, around the capacity building for kids in the NDIS space.

"It will be delivered to them in a fun way without them knowing they are doing a structured program.

"Everything will be run by trained facilitators, bouncing ideas of occupational therapists and a psychologist. Stewart Street can also be hired by independent support workers.

"It's about creating choice and control for participants because that's what NDIS is about, it's not about a competition, it's about building a capacity within our community."

Ms Stead said it was important the community recognised that the new service still fit within CINC's targeted framework.

"We've done key worker training and disability support training, we took time to make sure we understood what we were achieving," she said.

"But to make sure it aligns with our scope, so when we say we are in the disability space, we are not in home care, we are not in respite or high need services because it's not our area.

"This all aligns with other programs we were already delivering for the community or able bodied children.

"It just makes sense that we align them for the whole community."

She said, given the events of last year, it was clear the Cowra community needed extra capacity within the disability services space.

"COVID showed us that outreach services were the first out (of the community) and some haven't returned, so that means our community's needs are not being met," she said.

"We were hearing lots of stories from the community, so we thought instead of focusing on what the problems were, we would focus on a solution.

"Stewart Street then became available and it fitted everything we wanted and was so much easier than doing a total rebuild of one of our houses in Vaux Street.

"The more we can offer, the more other organisations can outreach here."

CINC's new services will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, allowing clients to work with other organisations and have a bigger network and a wider choice.

For those wishing to find out more information contact CINC's office at 15 Vaux Street or call 6340 1100.