UMS’s Executive Chairman, Campbell Walker, has always been passionate about supporting and giving back to the local community. Mr Walker’s altruism can be seen in UMS’s continuous support in Caitlin’s Retreat for the past ten years where staff continuously provide pro bono maintenance services for its respite facility. Caitlin’s Retreat is an inspirational getaway located in Eltham, purposely built for families with special needs children. Over the years, UMS has successfully improved its facility and with safety at the forefront of our minds, we want the families and children to enjoy a safe and sound holiday at Caitlin’s Retreat.
Caitlin’s Retreat is a vacation spot inspired by Caitlin Darbyshire, an eight-year-old child who had a lifelong battle with a complex genetic brain disorder. Despite her illness, Caitlin enjoyed exploring outdoor environments and being exposed to sun, wind, water and the sound of nature. Her family would always take her on vacations and outings. Caitlin touched many lives during her short life and her passion for exploring the outdoors inspired the creation of Caitlin’s Retreat.
Caitlin’s Retreat is a unique environment for special needs children and their families to connect with nature and enjoy one another. The retreat aims to enable special needs families to enjoy quality time with their children, without facing the barriers to accessibility and availability of facilities such as specialised equipment required for transportation, mobility, bathing and personal hygiene.
As a long-time sponsor, UMS ensures Caitlin’s Retreat can continuously provide a safe place for special needs children and their families through our pro bono facilities maintenance services. During the first quarter of 2019, various departments across UMS worked closely with Oliver Crispin, the caretaker of Caitlin’s Retreat, to solve various maintenance problems at the facility. These works included washing down and painting the decking twice; repairing the collapsed eave line; and repairing the downpipes and pops. Executive Manager of Grounds and Open Space, Mike Hoy, further reached out to his network and gathered a group of kind-hearted men who helped to paint the newly repaired timbers.
As seen in UMS’s support of the Hobsons Bay Community Fund Golf Day and the Symphony Under the Stars, our firm values community involvement and takes pride in supporting initiatives that help to promote the community.