Just over 18 months since the first sod was turned, MSWA’s $1.5 million Community and Health Services Centre in Bunbury was officially opened today by Disability Services Minister, Hon. Stephen Dawson, MSWA President, George Pampacos, MSWA CEO, Marcus Stafford AM and Bunbury Mayor, Gary Brennan.
The new state-of-the-art Centre will be a one-stop shop for people with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.
“MSWA has been supporting West Australians living with neurological conditions for more than 45 years. The organisation has a proven record of providing a wide range of supports and services to meet each person’s individual needs,” said Minister Dawson.
“The new purpose-built Centre provides the South West with superior facilities and enables MSWA to continue their important work assisting people living with neurological conditions.”
MSWA CEO, Marcus Stafford said demand for services in the South West is constantly growing as more people are choosing to live in the South West, with around 200 Members living in the area with their primary carers.
“Prior to this facility, we were operating out of an ageing building in Bunbury that didn’t meet all of our Members’ needs. But this Centre is purpose designed and purpose built. Among other services, the new treatment facility will offer physiotherapy, occupational therapy, personal assessments, counselling, nursing, group programs like fatigue management, Outreach Group and information sessions, peer support and social gatherings,” said Mr Stafford.
Bunbury resident, Melanie Mileham was diagnosed with MS in 2008, when she was 33, her symptoms included weakness in her right leg, severe fatigue and her balance was affected. Melanie comes to the new centre every Wednesday morning to take advantage of the services on offer.
“The new place is amazing. There’s heaps of room and the facilities are great. I use OT support, physio, massage fatigue management, the counselling and the Outreach Group. We also get to hear about the latest medical breakthroughs and research. There’s a lot going on,” said Melanie.
“And there’s not just people with MS here, so we share our experiences, it is a very caring and safe environment. Every three months we celebrate a foreign place, dressing up, decorations, eating national foods. Hawaii, France, Las Vegas next.”
Rosie Ballinger is another local who has been using the Community and Health Services Centre. The 54-year-old was diagnosed with MS when she was 26 and has been a loyal MSWA Member for all the time she’s lived in WA.
“The new Centre is a quantum leap from the old one. There’s so much room to move. The physio rooms are bigger and more accessible and when we arrive and the weather is adverse we’re undercover and there’s someone there to help you,” said Rosie.
“The quality of MSWA’s service have always been excellent. Everyone wants to help you and I’m always learning new ways to manage my MS and adapt it because no two people with MS have the same journey.”
Mr Stafford AM, said he would like to thank the people of Western Australia for making the opening of the new Centre possible.
“At MSWA we rely on the generosity of the people who buy our lotteries, take part in our events and donate to us to help provide the support and services for people with MS and other neurological conditions. We’re increasing our footprint the number of services we deliver across the Perth metropolitan area and regional WA,” added Mr Stafford AM.