A small idea, first suggested in 2008, started with a baton, and grew to become the 65th Anniversary BCS “Hands of Care” Relay.
CEO Dr June Heinrich and Chairman of BCS’ Board, Dr Graham Henderson have attended every event, from Canberra to Newcastle, and will continue to attend final relay events in Forster, the Northern Rivers and Epping through July and August.
So far, BCS sites, facilities and programs across NSW and the ACT have proudly, and sometimes loudly, walked along neighbourhood roads with the baton, sometimes escorted by police cars or followed by television cameras and local newspaper journalists.
The sun has shone and the rain has drizzled. In the Blue Mountains temperatures plummeted, while the Central Coast turned on a very warm day for its relay leg.
Mayors, Members of Parliaments and local church ministers have accepted the baton, smiled for cameras and enjoyed congratulating BCS on 65 years of care to their local community.
To date, Relay events have visited
Carlingford | Bankstown | Sutherland | Wollongong | Wagga Wagga | Parkes | Dubbo | Canberra | Blue Mountains | Penrith | Marsfield | Central Coast | Newcastle
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with staff, volunteers, residents and clients agreeing that the relay has been a great unifying activity, with the common threads of care, celebration, acknowledgement and thanksgiving.
Catherine Smith, Acting Community Manager at BCS Care Centre – Central Coast wrote “it was a really meaningful ceremony and the BBQ following was a great opportunity to mingle with other BCS-ers which we usually don’t get to do!”
Catherine invited representatives from the Care Centre’s Men’s Group (social support for young people with a disability), and after the Relay event said “our fellows from the Men’s Group had an absolute ball. I think a couple of them really felt they were royalty”.
The residents and staff at BCS Morven Gardens were still enjoying morning tea that afternoon, and Executive Care Manager Carol Rynsbergen commented “the place is buzzing this afternoon – what a wonderful day”.
Administration Assistant Suzi Vrljicak wrote on behalf of her clients and her team, saying “thank you … for remembering all that are associated with BCS and how they as individuals and as teams care”.