More than 100 people, 7000 hours of volunteer labour and about $220,000 worth of donated materials have built something quite special in Thurgoona.
A four-bedroom house on Tweed Court, open to the public on Saturday, October 19 (11am to 2pm), will be auctioned next month to raise money towards the ongoing rehabilitation of Lavington’s Nick Dempsey.
Its construction came through the efforts of Nick’s father Peter, the Nick’s Journey committee and numerous tradespeople and suppliers who gave their time and talents freely.
Nick, 22, heads to Queensland on Sunday for more treatment, 21 months after the diving accident that left him with C4 quadraplegia.
On Friday he visited the new home, which is part of Iluka Views Estate, and again expressed his appreciation for the work put in by so many.
“I could never have expected something like this from the community,” he said.
“I can’t say thank-you enough to everyone that’s been involved in it, it’s just been amazing.”
His father, a plumber, said the support received had been humbling, for example the bricklayers came and worked for free for a week.
“We tried to give them something, they just wouldn’t accept anything,” Mr Dempsey said.
“A lot of late nights, lot of early mornings, through the heat of summer.
“You’d do anything for your kids, it’s something I’d do again if I had to.”
Nick’s Journey chairperson Leanne Luhrs said the house design included details like dual built-in laundry hampers, extra bathroom storage and easy access from garage to the walk-in pantry.
“We tried to think of all the little extras that you may want in your home,” she said.
But more than a building project, “it’s love, it’s sacrifice, it’s determination, it’s hard work, it’s commitment, it’s all those put together”.
Nick, who completes therapy sessions in Melbourne and at home, is working on his upper body strength and hopes to progress to a manual wheelchair in the future.
While others remark on his positive attitude, Nick sees it differently.
“One of the reasons why I haven’t really had to complain is because I’ve had such good support around me; I’m very lucky in that sense,” he said.
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