Sunshine Butterflies is a boutique, not- for-profit provider that has built a network of flexible services to provide information, support, resources and programs to individuals and families living with a disability.
The charity organisation was founded in 2005 by Leanne Walsh whose son Curtis has Cerebral Palsy. Leanne has made it her mission to reduce the stigma of disability within the community and she now leads a small and passionate team to help make this dream a reality.
In 2014 Leanne’s dreams became reality when Sunshine Butterflies reached their $100,000 fundraising goal to buy their very own property to secure their future and change the way they deliver their services forever. The $100,000 was used as a deposit on a 5 acre property in Cooroibah which is located at 468 McKinnon Drive, just 5 mins from Noosa. They call the property ‘Our Backyard’.
Winning $50,000 from Dick Smith Foods in early 2015, allowed Sunshine Butterflies to begin building their dream. Since then the facility has undergone extensive renovations and thanks to the support of many local businesses, community groups, individuals and Dick Smith Foods they are now currently halfway towards their building goal.
They have already made approximately $80,000 worth of improvements to the property and Our Backyard is progressively becoming a versatile use of community land for the entire Region, not only for people living with a disability. Our Backyard is now fully fenced; animal enclosures, carports and garden beds have been erected; a respite house has been modified for disabled access; $15,000 has been spent on a sewerage system; and $10,000 on earthworks. The site now also has a dedicated entrance and exit to the property that ensures safety.
The large space will provide access to many programs and activities that have physical, mental, environmental and social benefits for the entire community.
CEO and Founder of Sunshine Butterflies, Leanne Walsh said: “We love being able to show our supporters how their donation is being used to improve the facility and I would like to thank Dick Smith for his support and generosity. We are so grateful for each any every one of our supporters – each one has made an incredible difference, bringing new awareness and providing ongoing hope for individuals and families living with disability”.
“The plan is that we will move all of our current services and social and recreational programs to ‘Our Backyard’ later this year and we’ll also start adding new services and facilities such as an animal assisted therapy program.”
“Our Backyard’ will focus on good quality care and education and will give Sunshine Butterflies members purpose, and relieve parents of stress so they can go back to work while knowing their children are learning and having fun in a safe and happy environment..” Leanne said.