Sunnyfield Disability Services celebrates 65 years

ANNIVERSARY: Staff and employees at Sunnyfield Disability Service's Mount Druitt warehouse say their are proud to be part of the organisation. Picture: Isabella Lettini
ANNIVERSARY: Staff and employees at Sunnyfield Disability Service's Mount Druitt warehouse say their are proud to be part of the organisation. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Finally finding full-time work has given Martin Ellul reason to get out of bed in the morning.

He has only worked at Sunnyfield Disability Service’s Mount Druitt warehouse for three months, but has quickly taken to working life.

“I love coming to work,” he said. “The people here are incredible.

“This job has changed my life. 100 per cent.”

Mr Ellul is just one of hundreds of success stories that have passed through Sunnyfield’s doors over the last 65 years.

Employee support officer Ruth Carter worked at the old warehouses in North St Marys and Minchinbury before a more modern site was opened in 2014.

She said finding work had brought the site’s 75 employees out of their shells.

“I think it makes them feel valued. Guys learn new skills at work, but it’s also about learning life skills.

“You see them become more indepedent. They earn their own wage so they can buy what they want. They learn to use public transport.

“It’s amazing to see them develop.”

Long-time employee Peter Gerrard is the “go-to” man at Mount Druitt’s warehouse.

“I was there when they opened the gates at North St Marys years ago,” he said.

“The people have always been great to me. The staff and all of the employees. I love it here.”

The service, which gives people with an intellectual disability an opportunity to find paid work, racked up 65 years in business this week.

Sunnyfield’s chief executive Caroline Cuddihy said the organisation was founded by a group of mothers seeking a better life for their children.

“We are extremely proud of Sunnyfield’s history and its humble beginnings,” Ms Cuddihy said.

“This is a time to celebrate and extend our appreciation to Sunnyfield’s members, families, volunteers, donors, staff members and the people we serve, as part of the Sunnyfield community.”