Cherishing lives over seven decades of care

Just after World War II the call went out across Queensland to raise funds for a “Christian Home for Aged People”.

The Baptist Union of Queensland led the public appeal, with Baptist Churches across the state distributing 5,000 leaflets and 200 moneyboxes – every penny counted.

By 1947 a groundswell of people had raised more than 3,500 pounds to purchase Farrington House in Brisbane.

On 15 August 1949 the first three residents moved into “Clifford House”, named after the great Baptist campaigner for social reform Dr John Clifford.

Seven decades later what started out as a handful of Christians as the Clifford House Committee is now Carinity – an outreach of Queensland Baptists and an organisation with almost 1,400 employees which last year helped more than 16,000 people in 15 regions across Queensland.

While the organisation’s name has changed many times, CEO Jon Campbell says the core vision of Carinity remains uncompromised.

“Over the past 70 years Carinity has steadfastly followed the example of Jesus Christ, reflecting God’s love to people in need by creating communities where people are loved, accepted and supported,” he explains.

“We have achieved success by holding to our Christian values, providing high-quality care that make a positive difference to peoples lives.

“As we have identified needs in the community, we have sought to address them and that is how we have grown to be the organisation we are today.

“From our early beginnings of being a mission to help aged men and women with one nursing home, Carinity now has 11 aged care communities and also provides safe and affordable seniors living communities for retirees.

“We have fostered grass-roots responses to local community needs through the Carinity Innovation Grants for churches.”

Former Baptist pastor and now Carinity’s ICT Services Manager, Rick Saul, says he is overwhelmed by the breadth of Carinity’s work.

“When I look at where we have come from to today, Carinity is embracing technology and our future will see it in every facet of the organisation,” Rick says.

“We’re researching options that integrate technology seamlessly into the lives of the people we care for. From facial recognition and wearable technology to keeping aged care residents safe, to streaming TV and even virtual reality – providing ‘out of room’ experiences for those too frail to venture far.

“It means they can enjoy a day at the beach, or in the mountains, from the safety and comfort of their suite.”

Jon has a clear vision for Carinity: “Looking to the future of caring for older Queenslanders, our focus will be on continuing to expand with integrated seniors communities which include retirement living villas, residential aged care and in-home care services.

“In the medium term we will introduce a ‘supported living’ accommodation option which will enable people to live as independently as possible with assistance with laundry, cleaning and meals,” he says.

Carinity will also grow its disability support services, in line with its Home Care service.

“There’s a growing demand for Carinity’s alternative education model, catering to young people who struggle in traditional schools,” says Jon.

“Chaplaincy continues to be a focus. After welcoming Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy to Carinity in 2016, our goals are to have chaplains in every hospital and prison in Queensland and to provide chaplaincy to people in their homes.

“With families facing the stresses of life, we will continue to see the need for emergency accommodation, family counselling, and trauma counselling for children. This includes stopping the cycle of domestic violence through our world-first ReNew program.”

“Carinity has seen many changes over the last 70 years, with many more exciting changes planned for the future, but one thing remains the same and that’s the unwavering care and support provided by everyone at Carinity for the people in our care.”

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