This year has been a highly successful one for Sylvanvale. With COVID-19 no longer having such a big impact on our day-to-day operations, we were able to move forward in many areas. Some of our achievements are highlighted below.
Throughout the year we carried out major renovations at our houses in Menai and Raby. We also started capital works at Mikarie Place as part of the project to rezone and subdivide the area. We also did a big spring clean of Caringbah Craft Centre, with the help of volunteers from Sylvanvale Head Office.
In July 2023, we upgraded our technology with the launch of new systems that help us support our clients and roster our staff. This was part of the largest and most significant technology project that Sylvanvale has ever undertaken.
During the year, we launched a brand-new All Staff communications channel in Microsoft Teams. We also provided free flu jabs to staff and offered flexible employment options. In December 2023, we were excited to celebrate 63 employees through our 2023 Loyalty Awards Program.
Family, Carer & Participant Engagement
Early this year, we revealed the results of our Voice surveys which showed that 91% of the people we support are satisfied with Sylvanvale. Our Facing Forward participant and family/carer forums continued to be a success, with 18 people signed up and actively involved. We celebrated National Carers Week with special activities across our hubs. We stayed in touch with families through the Storypark app and InFocus newsletter.
This year we were excited to see our social media audience grow by 34%. We also raised more than $40,000 in the Sylvanvale Pre WWII Car Show – an event founded by Sylvanvale Foundation member and 2023 Sutherland Shire Citizen of the Year, Ken Warburton. In November, our talented team at Caringbah Craft Centre were selected to create trophies for the Woolworths Trade Partner of the Year Awards 2023. Plus, Sylvanvale Foundation became proud sponsors of Titans FC.
In September we were thrilled to win the ‘Special Purpose Housing’ category for our new Bangor properties at the 2023 Master Builders Association of NSW Excellence in Housing Awards. As the state’s most prestigious residential building awards, this was a huge achievement. We were also excited that Mikarie Child Care Centre was highly commended in the Service Quality category of the NDS National Disability Awards. We are very proud that Sylvanvale, Mikarie and Caringbah Craft Centre were all finalists in the 2023 Sutherland Shire Local Business Awards.
We continued our 75th anniversary celebrations with Executive visits and tree planting ceremonies across our sites. In August, we marked 60 years in the Blue Mountains.
In November we were thrilled to start providing Individual Apartment Living support at the ‘Regent’ complex in Kogarah. Growing our team to support more clients also remained a key focus for us, hiring around 160 new employees. Our staff continued to deliver a quality service for the people they support, while still working with impacts of COVID-19.
This year we entered into new Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) partnerships with Sylvanvale Foundation, Enliven Housing, AccessAccom and Good Housing. These collaborations will result in more contemporary housing options for people with disability.
We continued to work with the Federal Government through Alliance20 and peak body National Disability Services (NDS). Through them, we advocated for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that delivers better services and outcomes for participants.
Our enormous thanks to everyone who has worked so hard and contributed to Sylvanvale’s success throughout the year.