A $1.5 million short-stay respite home and three independent living units are set to be built at Henty thanks to the incredible generosity of a local family.
The announcement of the philanthropic offer to fund the purpose-designed facility came on Saturday, May 29 during an event at the community club with about 140 people present including Albury MP Justin Clancy.
The local health advisory committee will steer the project - a "gift" to the community to help alleviate the pressure for families and carers mainly from the Greater Hume and Lockhart shires needing short-term respite for loved ones with a disability or in frail health.
Committee chair Mick Broughan said they were currently in talks with a potential service provider and negotiations on the purchase of suitable land behind the hospital were being finalised.
"It's incredible; this sort of thing doesn't happen very often," said a delighted Mr Broughan.
"This family (who want to remain anonymous at this stage) felt strongly about the need for a respite option for people in need, who currently fall through the cracks in the current health system.
"Henty is a fantastic community - there are a lot of good little towns to live in but there is something very special about this town and its people on many fronts."
A board of directors will be appointed to manage the physical site while service delivery will be contracted out to an approved provider.
Mr Broughan said that while particulars were still being finalised, it is expected the cost of operating the service would be met by contributions from users, NDIS funding, community donations and rental income from the units.
The four-bedroom respite home will offer low to medium-level care for all age groups.
"Initial investigations suggest demand would come from people requiring care in situations including: mental and physical disabilities, autism, mental ill-health, illnesses including chronic fatigue, during or following cancer treatment, recovery from major surgery or illness and early onset dementia," he said.
Mr Broughan pointed out the independent living units were not designed to be an aged care facility.
"The units would be intended for relatively able people who require some type of regular monitoring or care but, if unused, could potentially be available for temporary housing of essential workers, like nursing staff," he said.
Mr Clancy said to hear of projects like this driven by generous members of the community "just blows me away".
"How good is this part of the world we live in?" he said after Saturday's announcement.