Bryn and Alana’s unforgettable stay at Sargood on Collaroy

This year, we teamed up with the popular ListenABLE podcast for a campaign with the aim of spreading the word about Sargood on Collaroy.

Hosted by Dylan Alcott, the former Paralympian and 2022 Australian of the Year, and co-host Angus O’Loughlin, the campaign entailed a competition featuring a $10,000 prize package, including an all-expenses-paid one-week stay at Sargood on Collaroy, complete with return airfare. To enter, participants were asked to tag the person they wanted to share the prize with and explain their reasons. The competition received 120 entries, with Bryn Bradford and his partner, Alana Bethune, from Brisbane winning the grand prize.

Bryn was just 22 when an accident caused significant and permanent damage to his spinal cord, fracturing both his C5 and T6. According to Sargood on Collaroy’s General Manager James Dakin, “When we read Alana’s entry, the couple’s enthusiasm shone through. Rain, hail, or shine, we knew they were going to make the most of their time.”

Bryn says that both he and Alana were ‘blown away’ by the facilities and the accommodation at Sargood on Collaroy. “Traveling is never really easy for people with disabilities,” Bryn explains, “a lot of holidays you focus on your disability and your needs and there’s usually a huge checklist that you have go through. Knowing that everything was going to be taken care of was a huge barrier reducer.”

During their stay, Bryn and Alana took full advantage of the beach and went for strolls, swam, and even surfed – something Bryn had not been able to do since his accident. “The recreational team took me out for a paddle and a surf in the ocean, and that was very special for me, as I haven’t done that in 10 years. I just felt like myself out there – it was amazing,” says Bryn.

Being at Sargood on Collaroy also allowed Bryn and Alana to enjoy activities together that were not normally possible on their holidays, such as kayaking and snorkelling. “Having the recreational team there to support us meant there was no pressure on Alana to take on a caring role. She was able to just be my partner, have fun and just enjoy doing things with me,” says Bryn.

Meeting guests and connecting with the spinal cord community was another highlight of their stay. “Everyone was so nice, the staff and the specialists were kind of like family, and chatting with the other guests. Everyone’s got a bit of a story. There’s that compassion there. We talked about the day’s activities as well as the kinds of solutions people might have for their day-to-day living which was really good,” says Bryn.

Reflecting on their experience at Sargood on Collaroy, Bryn says that having access to a facility like Sargood on Collaroy was ‘pretty incredible.’ “We’ve never stayed anywhere quite like it. I consider myself very lucky,” he says.