Record Numbers Turn Out to Celebrate The Coast’s Biggest Party For Kids Living With Disability
STEPS Autism Treehouse had the festive fun flowing as they celebrated the Vantage Homes 6th Annual STEPS Autism Treehouse Christmas Party, the Sunshine Coast’s largest Christmas event for young people and families living with autism and disability at the Kawana Sports Precinct yesterday.
This year’s event was the biggest and best yet, with more than 750 people in attendance, up almost 50 per cent from last year, it was a very special day where families from all over south-east Qld living with disability enjoyed a fun-filled day in a supportive environment.
Santa arrived on his Harley, with gifts for all the kids, there were fun waterslides, amazing rides, crazy goop, animals, chill zones, loads of sports to try, and STEPS Nursery had kids’ activities and handy Christmas gift ideas.
The free mini-massages for parents and carers were a big hit, as well as the handy information provided at stalls on topics such as the NDIS, disability support, autism support groups and allied health professionals.
Thanks to the support of the wonderful sponsors, Vantage Homes Qld, the Sunshine Coast Council, together with all event partners, STEPS united likeminded people to celebrate and highlight the importance of providing the only Christmas event for Coast families living with autism and disability.
Vantage Homes Director Glenn Carmichael said they believe in contributing towards the communities where they operate, by sponsoring local community activities.
“Vantage was thrilled to be involved once again with the Christmas party and our staff helped with the set up and clean-up, which I think highlights what a fantastic community organisation STEPS Autism Treehouse is,” he said.
STEPS Group Managing Director Carmel Crouch said the event is one she holds very close to her heart, bringing partners, volunteers and the Coast community all together on the day for the event.
“To see so many children having so much fun, in an event created just for them, so they can feel supported and have a great time, especially at Christmas, is just very special,” she said.
“Participating in Christmas events is something most families might take for granted, but when your family is living with autism and disability, it can be almost impossible to attend regular events as children can feel overwhelmed, meaning the whole family misses out.
“With such a huge boost in attendees from last year, this event is clearly very much needed in our community.
“We believe the best way to support families and young people living with autism and disability, is by providing the opportunity to connect with others in their community in a safe, and supported way.”
Sunshine Coast mother Emma Robbins said without events like the STEPS Autism Treehouse Christmas party, her family would be severely limited in their Christmas community engagement.
“Our 10 year old Lucas has both Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cerebral Palsy, this event has allowed our family to participate at such a magical time of year, our children looked forward to the rides, activities and roaming action figures, all provided in such a non-judgemental supportive environment,” she said.
For more information about the services and events from STEPS Autism Treehouse contact 5409 9014 or visit www.stepsautismtreehouse.org.au
Video by Raw Lens Media