Youngcare grant for Koonawarra's Alyson Lewis

 Koonawarra's Alyson Lewis, pictured with mother Wendy Smith, was helped by a Youngcare NSW grant. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Koonawarra's Alyson Lewis, pictured with mother Wendy Smith, was helped by a Youngcare NSW grant. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Koonawarra woman Alyson Lewis was following her dream of becoming a top chef when a brain injury changed her life forever.

A brain aneurysm seven years ago left the now 36-year-old with vision impairment and paralysis in her left leg, confining her to a wheelchair.

Getting out and about in a manual wheelchair had been a struggle for her and her mother Wendy Smith, but a Youngcare grant last year allowed them to fit a motor to it.

"I'm not getting any younger and have a knee injury so was finding it hard to push Alyson around," Ms Smith said.

"The grant has enabled us to buy a motor to fit onto the wheelchair, which has made life a whole lot easier.

"We were also able to purchase a special rail for the bathroom with the $2300 grant, which enables Alyson to have a bit more independence and privacy."

Ms Smith encouraged other parents or carers looking after people with high needs to apply for the latest round of Youngcare NSW At Home Care grants, which aim to prevent them entering aged care facilities.

The grants, of between $2000 and $10,000, help fund essential support items like hoists, wheelchairs, emergency respite care and renovations to make homes disability friendly.

Introduced in Queensland in 2009, the grants are supported by GIO and have now been expanded into NSW and Victoria.

"In this day and age it isn't right that young people with high care needs have so few options," Youngcare CEO Samantha Kennerley said.

"Every grants round has been oversubscribed, highlighting the enormous need that exists in Australia."

Applications for this round of grants close on June 26. Visit youngcare.com.au/nswgrants for details.

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