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Bradley's Story

"The gift of land has been made in response to the marvellous support offered to Bradley and his family by our caring friends at CCS Disability Action. From his earliest days when diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, CCS Disability Action have surrounded our family with love and practical caring, pursuing all avenues to support Bradley with his mobility and schooling. We are indeed grateful that Gloria Hammond, Pat Beck and David Matthews shared the vision of a holiday home on the coast." Jeanette Oliver

CCS Disability Action isn’t just a big city disability support organisation – it’s also an integral part of many small towns and communities from Invercargill to Northland. One of those places is Greymouth and adjoining Runanga, where Bradley Aldridge grew up.

Bradley and his friends Alex and Tom are a regular sight on the streets of Greymouth. Alex and Tom push Bradley in his wheelchair, much to everyone’s delight. “They are great mates and make each other happy. They’re a lot of fun to be around,” explains Jeanette Oliver, Bradley’s Grandmother.

“We can’t go anywhere without people saying hello to Bradley, which he really appreciates. It’s always been that way. My daughter Julia has always been keen to ensure he is included and visible in the community. It would be a lonely life otherwise, wouldn’t it?”

Over 15 years ago, Jeanette and her husband subdivided a piece of their farm and gave it to CCS Disability Action to be used as an accessible holiday home site for families wanting a break on the West Coast. In partnership with CCS Disability Action’s Gloria Hammond, Pat Beck and David Matthews, as well as the entire Greymouth community including Mayor Tony Kokshorn and the West Coast Police Team, a massive fundraising blitz was undertaken to raise enough money to build what became ‘Bradley House’ in Paroa, on the outskirts of Greymouth.

Bradley House is a popular destination for many families who once found it hard to find accessible holiday home options. Jeanette and John have absolutely loved to watch its popularity and success grow, understanding first-hand how great the need for accessible holiday homes is.

Bradley needs 24/7 support to keep him happy and safe. He uses his eye gaze and body language to communicate with others, which means having trusted relationships is especially important. Jeanette is employed part-time by CCS Disability Action as one of four support workers who care for Bradley. But she has also been by his side since the day he started primary school. Initially this was going to be for six months to ensure a smooth transition to school, but she ended up following him through primary, and she was then approached by the local high school to ask if she would consider coming on board as a Teacher Aide.

Jeanette felt that her continued role in Bradley’s school life has been very important because she can act as his advocate. Robert Miedema is the CCS Disability Action Coordinator who works with Bradley and his family. He began his support role with them when Bradley left school at 18 and has done a lot to support funding applications and activities among other things.

Thank you for your support! Communities like Greymouth need you.

Donate to CCS Disability Action today.

Bradley is a Riding for the Disabled enthusiast, attends a weekly ‘Special Olympics’ gym, loves basketball, and is a big fan of Speedway Racing. But probably most exciting of all is Bradley’s growing independence supported and encouraged by the whole team. He recently moved into his own accessible unit, specifically designed to suit his needs. It is on his parent’s property, with video and audio connections to the main house to ensure he is safe, but it allows him time to himself as well as having friends around on his own terms.

Over the years, supporting Bradley’s journey has been a real team effort, with Bradley’s family, including mum, dad, his grandparents and brother Josh, his CCS Disability Action Coordinator Robert Miedema and former Coordinator Gloria Hammond, having to work very hard to advocate for the funding and support he has needed.

“Don’t ever tell us we can’t achieve something! We have smashed down a few brick walls over the years and while money is always an issue, we have found where there is a will and the manpower there is a way,” says Bradley’s mum Julia.

Bradley’s family, the Greymouth community and CCS Disability Action have made amazing things happen for Bradley and other disabled people in this community. They have all put enormous effort into creating opportunity and inclusion. When you donate to CCS Disability Action, these are some of the people and the kind of communities that you are supporting.

“We can’t go anywhere without people saying hello to Bradley, which he really appreciates. It’s always been that way. My daughter Julia has always been keen to ensure he is included and visible in the community. It would be a lonely life otherwise, wouldn’t it?”

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“Don’t ever tell us we can’t achieve something! We have smashed down a few brick walls over the years and while money is always an issue, we have found where there is a will and the manpower there is a way,” says Bradley’s mum Julia.

Bradley’s family, the Greymouth community and CCS Disability Action have made amazing things happen for Bradley and other disabled people in this community. They have all put enormous effort into creating opportunity and inclusion.

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