Belle Camilleri

School holidays – a welcome break for most, but equally a scramble in the search for a destination with activities for the whole family. Throw in the added challenge of finding accommodation with fully accessible features and the process can become an overwhelming exercise – one that the Camilleri family is all too familiar with.

“Discovering Sargood on Collaroy with its custom-built comfort and accessibility was a refreshing change!” said Cathy, carer and mother to eight-year old Belle who has a spinal cord injury.

“Our three-week stay in the summer of 2018 was the first real holiday we have had following Belle’s accident almost five years ago. We’ve been on previous holidays where we’ve had to take air mattresses and all that kind of equipment, but here I don’t need to because I know she’s got what she needs.”

Sargood on Collaroy provides people like Cathy and her family with the opportunity to enjoy a holiday with ease and peace of mind knowing the resort can deliver on accessibility. From its purpose-built features and design, to choice of support and care, and the range of specialised equipment and daily living aids available at Sargood on Collaroy, guests can look forward to a truly worry-free resort experience.

“Being able to go somewhere as a family knowing that it can fully accommodate Belle and her needs has made a huge difference,” says Cathy.

In addition to a welcome respite for Cathy and the family, a holiday at Sargood on Collaroy opens up a world of possibilities for Belle who made the most of her time trying the host of activities offered through Sargood’s group-based Weekly Activity Program. From snorkelling, sailing and kayaking to dancing, enjoying the ocean pool swim or accessible local community facilities with her family and trialling the X8 4×4 wheelchair on the sand, not a moment of their stay was wasted.

“There’s a lot of skills that Belle has gained that she most likely would have never had a chance to if she had been able to walk. She would never have probably gone sailing, never tried kayaking…and I think that freedom is what a lot of people find at Sargood on Collaroy,” says Cathy who found there was even more to be gained from the people and families she met at Sargood.

“I think the biggest thing has been being able to talk to other people and families that are in similar situations. When you’re at home you’re kind of isolated so it’s nice to be able to talk to the other guests and learn little things to get you through the rest of your days when you’re not here at Sargood,” says Cathy.

The Sargood experience has provided the Camilleri family with the added bonus of an eight-year old who has grown a confidence and vivaciousness throughout their stay, developing a renewed understanding and acceptance of herself and her place in the world.

“She has really opened up here. She is not afraid to chat, it’s not taking a long time for her to talk to people when it would normally take her a few days or times talking to a person for her to come out of her shell,” says Cathy.

“I think it’s just the fact that she realises that everyone here is either in a wheelchair or has some kind of spinal cord injury and so they’ve all got stories. Sargood on Collaroy is going to be a big part of her life. A very big part.”