Willing hands transform Warrah bathrooms

Before: Warrah Society chief residential officer, Patricia Abraham, in one of the bathrooms under demolition at Red Gum house in Dural. Up to four tradies were in the room at any one time helping rip out the tiles on Monday. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Before: Warrah Society chief residential officer, Patricia Abraham, in one of the bathrooms under demolition at Red Gum house in Dural. Up to four tradies were in the room at any one time helping rip out the tiles on Monday. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Renovating a bathroom isn't the simple one-week affair depicted on The Block, as staff at Warrah Society have quickly learnt.

Since March nearly 100 tradies commissioned by Brookfield Multiplex have been ripping out and replacing the dated bathrooms owned by Warrah — a disability services provider with homes in Cherrybrook, Dural and Baulkham Hills.

"It's incredible," Patricia Abraham, Warrah's chief residential officer, said.

The 17-bathroom blitz will save the service about $250,000, money they can now spend on other projects including upgrading a building for holiday accommodation for children with disabilities, building training rooms and converting a recreational pool into a hydrotherapy pool with access hoist.

"We've installed some handrails and repaired the tiling but haven't had the funds to do such a large renovation," she said.

Red Gum house in Dural had the oldest bathrooms, but client needs had changed a lot since they were built 30 years ago.

The upgrade will result in modern designs that improve independence, safety and privacy for the 48 disabled residents with moderate to high needs living in the seven homes, some partially ambulant and others non-ambulant.

Check this out: Warrah Society chief residential officer, Patricia Abraham, in one of the newly-renovated bathrooms at Red Gum house in Dural. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Check this out: Warrah Society chief residential officer, Patricia Abraham, in one of the newly-renovated bathrooms at Red Gum house in Dural. Picture: Natalie Roberts

The bathroom blitz came about after Urban Taskforce's 2012 Property Person of the Year, Brookfield Multiplex chairman Ross McDiven, visited Warrah, a beneficiary of the event.

Companies including The Buchan Group, StrataSurv, Mann Group, Air Safe, Polyseal and Dial a Dump have donated resources. An occupational therapist helped with designs — for example, completely flat surfaces in the bathrooms used by people with epilepsy.

Warrah was founded in 1965 by Karl and Hannelor Kaltenbach, working with a small group of intellectually disabled teenagers on an organic vegetable garden.

■ Donate/partner: http://warrah.org

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