Care group for disabled children must shift again

Seeking a new home is Windmill programme specialised care manager Angela Olsen with Jazmin Loper (4) and other parents and pupils who regularly attend the programme. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Seeking a new home is Windmill programme specialised care manager Angela Olsen with Jazmin Loper (4) and other parents and pupils who regularly attend the programme. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

A specialised care programme for children with disabilities is on the move again after being forced from its home in South Dunedin.

Access Home Health Windmill Otago Southland specialised care manager Angela Olsen said the Windmill programme was established four years ago, and has had a ''slightly nomadic'' existence ever since, having moved several times since it was established, and has been in the former St Patrick's School in South Dunedin since March last year.

But in December, the organisation will have to move again - this time to make way for the new An-Nur Kiwi Academy (Muslim boys' boarding school) which has bought the site.

''We're back in no man's land,'' Ms Olsen said. `It's a familiar place for us. It's very unsettling for everyone involved.''

She said the programme had about 130 children on its books, and December was not an ideal time to move because the holiday programme would be in full swing.

''Ideally, we would like to move into another school because it already has the appropriate DCC zoning - it'll be set up ready to go.''

Ms Olsen said the group investigated moving into the former High Street School, but that was out of the question.

A Ministry of Education spokeswoman said it was not possible for the group to rent the site because it was to be offered to Ngai Tahu under its right of first refusal in the Crown property disposal process.

''If Ngai Tahu does not purchase the site, it will be placed on the open market.

''Leasing the site is not possible because the ministry estimates that the property will be sold by December,'' she said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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