The services provided by Interchange Shoalhaven grew from the original part-time Host Care Program provided as an Outreach service of the Illawarra Family Care for Disabled Persons (IFCD) in 1988. The Shoalhaven Leisure Respite Options service was also established under the Illawarra auspice in July 1992.
Interchange Shoalhaven Inc. was established as an independent organisation with its own local Board in early 1993 and took over the management of the two respite programs. The service moved to its own premises at 31 Hyam St Nowra and employed its first administrative worker to support the two coordinators, and we purchased our first computer!
An outreach Host Care program for the Ulladulla area was also established in February 1993 and the adolescent programs: Peer Support (North) and Recreation Support (Bay & Basin and South) were funded in May 1996. The Leisure Link social club (for adults) joined Interchange in October 1996 and the Recreation Club (for high school students) was established in 1998.
Extra funds for flexible respite were also received for the whole Shoalhaven area in October 2000, in June 2001 and in December.
In 2004 the service moved to the premised in Holloway Rd East Nowra and purchased its first vehicle, modified for wheelchair users.
Our brokerage arm was developed to assist individuals and families use our valued workers and volunteers with funding from other sources.
In 2008 through federal government funding the Cox St premises was purchased to offer a residential respite option and a van added to the fleet for use during individual and small group activities.
From 2004 to 2015 the service grew rapidly with many local, state and funding sources all focusing on respite but increasingly moving away from the service-defined models towards letting individuals and their families define what respite and service meant for them and how it was to be delivered.
Original Coordinator in 1988 and Manager to 2015