Therese Howell mother to Jack who is 12 and Alyssa 9 our community driver for Livvi’s Place Casey.
At 17 weeks into her pregnancy she discovered that her son Jack was born with is limb missing on his hand. There was no know reason or cause but knew that he would have challenges throughout his life.
Therese was originally introduced to Touched by Olivia at the 2011 Vodafone World of Difference Awards where she met Bec Ho. They were both commissioned to work with charities for 1 year. Theresa choose ‘Limbs 4 Life Charity’ and Bec the ‘Touched By Olivia Foundation’. It was at this point she was introduced to TBO. In Therese’s words ‘TBO has a genuine intention heart and soul in projects that make a real difference, I knew I just had to be a part of it’. For all of her work she was Casey’s Citizen of the year in 2012.
Therese was part of a mothers group where 5 kids had disabilities some physical, neural and mobility challenges. It was made clear when it would come time to meet there was not a local space that everyone could come together that was safe and suitable for everyone. They were unable to meet in meet at a public space as most parks weren’t fenced, parks close to water ways and nothing with wheelchair access. Therese said that this was very isolating for her mothers group and started to become apparent that something needed to be done.
At this point it was clear that Therese was the perfect community driver for Livvi’s Place Casey and and the need for something in the community ignited her passion for the project. She says that she had a good start to the project as she had the right contacts having worked before at the local council. She had been a part of the access and inclusion committee so had a great foundation to get started.
The most interesting and proud part of her journey was the support from the community and the various groups and different associations. She was so proud that the community embraced the project and understood the need for a ‘Livvi’s Place’ in Casey.
In Therese’s words ‘I’m amazed how if people give themselves wings to fly its amazing what difference they can make beyond four walls.’