Centre combines fun, opportunity

Published 5:00am 30 May 2023

Centre combines fun, opportunity
Words by Kylie Knight

Two women with a passion for creating opportunities for people with disabilities have opened Dovecote Support Centre at Redcliffe – a vibrant space to have fun and learn.

The centre at 2/83 Anzac Ave is the brainchild of long-time disability support workers Suz Smith and Sarah Dillon, who wanted to create something special when they moved from Rockhampton to the Redcliffe peninsula.

It opened about eight weeks ago and has a large interactive screen, indoor road safety track, games room, mega LEGO area, a sensory room with illusional carpet and bubble lights, and more.

Dovecote Support Centre offers leisure and recreational activities, cooking and budget management workshop, arts and crafts, and other forms of disability support for people of all ages.

Suz and Sarah say they have learnt what works and doesn’t work in the sector, and are driven to provide the best experience with the help of Suz’s son Tyler, 26, who is non-verbal and has Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

He tries everything out and if he engages with and activity, they know they are on a winner.

|“It’s a brand new concept of disability support. We’ve just taken it to the next level including all the interactive activities. It’s all about engagement for us and having fun,” Suz explains.|

Sarah adds: “We like to have fun, so everyone would love to have fun, right?”

Suz says many parents are looking for way to help their children become more active.

“These guys needed something without feeling like they need to go to the gym. We always found that sometime with those pressures, they just wouldn’t do it. We’ve created a space and environment that is fun and they’re doing it without realising they’re doing it,” she explains.

“We’ve involved all the skills needed for independence. That’s really important to us. We’ll do cooking in here as well with cooking demos on the big screen. We do everything they’ll need out there in the big, wide world.

“There’s also Lego, arts and crafts, gaming … all the fun stuff. We sneak those skills in.”

Centre combines fun, opportunity

What they have created

The pair describes it as a disability support service with its own activity centre. They are keen to open it up to other agencies and the general public from noon-2pm, Monday to Friday.

Sarah says they want to build confidence in participants and trust with families.

“What Sarah and I have already seen is when people come in and use the screen, use the Lego, use everything … (they have) the biggest smiles and they’re returning. We know that it is something special,” Suz adds.

“We just want to keep creating. We want to keep adding to the activities in here and creating a space that feels like family … and everyone wants to come in here because it’s exciting and it’s fun.”

Dovecote Support Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8am-5pm and on the first Saturday of the month from 10am-4pm.

It is at 2/83 Anzac Ave, Redcliffe.

For more information, head to the website 

Check out the photo gallery (click through)

Photos by Dominika Lis

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