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Thursday, April 22, 2021
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Have a ‘hart’ and make a difference for Hartley Lifecare

Hartley Lifecare is looking for locals to be one in a million and donate to the redevelopment of one of the first supported independent living communities in Canberra.

Home to 10 residents, Hartley Court has been the base of essential residential and respite services since the mid-1980s.

At an estimated cost of $2.6 million, the Hartley Court redevelopment will include bigger bedrooms, more common areas, and modernised buildings and designs to enable the residents to live more independently.

To help fund the build, Hartley is asking the Canberra community to dig deep and raise one million dollars.

CEO of Hartley, Eric Thauvette, said that the project has been a long time coming, with the original redevelopment planned back in 2013.

CEO of Hartley Lifecare, Eric Thauvette.

“We had identified that the houses needed to be re-built,” Mr Thauvette said.

“Then with the announcement of the NDIS, we didn’t know what that meant for funding, what that meant for the future of people being supported, so we put the project on hold, and made some repairs to the houses to bring them up to a good standard.”

Eight years later, the redevelopment project will be managed by Renaissance Homes, which has past experience in building disability accommodation throughout the Canberra region. According to Mr Thauvette, the two new houses and four units at Hartley Court will be state of the art. 

“We identified some people with very high and complex needs that would prefer to live on their own,” he said.

“It’s a good model for people to have their independence, to have their privacy and not necessarily always have staff in their house but have them available.”

According to Mr Thauvette, Hartley took a significant hit during COVID as they were forced to stop their major fundraising events. While they are hoping to bring the Hartley Cycle Challenge and Hartley High Tea back, the One Million Harts Campaign is asking locals to share their love and generosity by contributing to the build of Hartley Court through a donation of their choice or by purchasing a ‘hart’.

Mr Thauvette said the idea behind donating a specific item allows Hartley to show people what the donations are funding and what the residents need.

“That’s a way for us to be able to show that they’re very specialised houses, we need some specialised equipment like ceiling hoists and assistive technology throughout the house to make people who live there as independent as possible,” he said.

“As well as the build of the house, which is a substantial cost normally, there’s a lot of extra cost to put into for people with disability.”

“The idea of the ‘hart’ to put in your lapel is really nice for people to show who they’re supporting when they’re out in the community.”

Over the next 12 months, there will be a series of events to raise funds for the campaign and a dedicated website where individuals and businesses can show support for the One Million Harts campaign.

For more information or to donate, visit https://www.hartley.org.au/one-million-harts

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