Media releases

July 15, 2014

Garden initiative helps disabled people in Ipswich

The Medibank Community Fund (MCF) has awarded a $14,475 community grant to Alara Qld Ltd in Ipswich, Queensland.

The grant will allow Alara Qld Ltd to develop a sustainable, working kitchen garden for people with a disability that will be fully accessible for participants who use wheelchairs or other aids to assist with their mobility.

The kitchen garden will be used in conjunction with existing healthy eating and cooking workshops and provide participants with a 'garden to plate' experience that aims to provide valuable nutritional advice through the introduction of new and exciting foods and recipes.

Medibank Retail State Manager for QLD, Christopher Staines said the program embraced the Medibank Community Fund's priorities of promoting healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness -the key selection criteria for the MCF grants program.

"Medibank employees on our Regional Council from across QLD, expressed overwhelming support for Alara Qld Ltd's application because their healthy lifestyle program gives disabled people who can often feel socially isolated, an opportunity to get involved in an inclusive community initiative and dramatically improve their overall health and wellbeing", said Mr Staines.

"The Medibank Community Fund grants program supports local, grassroots initiatives that aim to create a lasting and positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the community and Alara Qld Ltd and its healthy lifestyle program are doing just that".

Alara Qld Ltd Manager, Judith Dickson said the garden will also incorporate designated spaces for group fitness activities, promoting increased physical activity.

"It is difficult for people with a disability to participate in and benefit from traditional forms of exercise", said Ms Dickenson.

"Our program addresses this from all angles and gives participants an opportunity to be active and eat healthily in a socially inclusive environment, so they can experience every health benefit associated with our initiative".

Alara Qld Ltd is one of 42 recipients chosen from more than 900 applications across Australia and New Zealand to receive a 2014 Medibank Community Fund grant.

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