STEPS Gather Partners to Bring Christmas Magic to Children with Disabilities
STEPS Autism Treehouse launched 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 yesterday at the beautiful Maroochydore Rotary Park, Cotton Tree.
Santa arrived on his Harley Davidson with gifts for all the children, as key sponsors from Vantage Homes Qld, the Sunshine Coast Council’s Cr Jason O’Pray and event partners gathered to highlight the importance of providing the only Christmas event for Coast families living with autism and disability.
STEPS announced the winners of the Christmas Party Arthouse Colouring Competition, Ella and Emma, who have won exclusive VIP experiences at the Christmas party, including a private marquee with bean bags, exclusive early access to the venue and rides, and food and drink vouchers on the day.
Held at the Kawana Sports Precinct December 1, the STEPS Autism Treehouse Christmas Party is a very special event where families from all over south-east Qld living with disability can enjoy a fun-filled day in a supportive environment.
Vantage Homes Director Glenn Carmichael says they believe in contributing towards the communities where they operate, by sponsoring local community activities.
“Vantage is thrilled to be involved once again with the Christmas party and many of our staff have already put their name down to help with the set up and clean-up, which I think highlights what a fantastic community organisation STEPS Autism Treehouse is,” he said.
STEPS Group Australia Managing Director Carmel Crouch maintains 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.
“Christmas is a very magical time of year for children, and we want children with disabilities to experience that magic too, we also want to provide a space that parents can come along to and feel supported, and maybe even relax for a few hours,” Carmel said.
“We are focussed on creating opportunities for young people living with autism and their families to enjoy life to the full, and develop meaningful connections with their community, thanks to partners like Vantage Homes, we can provide these opportunities.”
Sunshine Coast mother Emma Robbins says 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, navigating large social events are often too overwhelming for him socially, emotionally and physically, resulting in both him and his neurotypical siblings missing out on most community based events and activities,” Emma said.
“This event has allowed our family to participate at such a magical time of year, our children look forward to the rides, activities and roaming action figures, all provided in such a non-judgemental supportive environment,” she said.
The event is designed to be the most fun children will have all year with rides, activities, Santa with gifts, chill-out zones, allied health exhibits, massages for parents, all in a supported environment, and all included in the $10 ticket price.
Main image: Cr Jason O’Pray, STEPS’ Carmel Crouch and Vantage Homes Qld launch the 2019 Christmas Party
This project is proudly supported by Sunshine Coast Council’s grants program
Waterslides and obstacle course – Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Visit www.dss.gov.au for more information.