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‘ME YOU US’ ISLAND RETREAT QUALITY AND SERVICES SURPRISES CR MARK EDWARDS Cr Mark Edwards recently visited the Me You Us Island Retreat on Macleay Island and was delightfully surprised at the quality and standard of the acreage facility. “I had no idea a respite retreat of this standard existed on our islands. “It is a superb facility,” the councillor said. Me You Us is a division of Individualised Lifestyle Support Services (ILS) which is a registered disability service provider. The business and the retreat are the brainchild of the Desplace family of Vaughan, Zarina and Brenda Desplace. The family have a long history associated with Macleay Island with parents Dorothy and Derrick Desplace living here for many years. The Me You Us Island Retreat is a destination retreat, used by ILS Services clients as a space to meet their home and living needs on a short or long-term basis. The one acre property enables activities for carers and clients with a disability. These include music, arts, crafts, games, gardening, cooking, meditation, yoga/body movement, woodwork, fishing, virtual reality space activities and more. The ILS Services team also deliver workshop and self-care programs for clients, including carers. Everything at Me You Us comes with an island influence; a major point-of-difference. Many aspects of island life including markets, fishing, kayaking, nature walks and swimming are elements in the programs on offer. The really good news is that Individualised Lifestyle Support Services actually employs more than 60 employees, many of them island residents. Brenda Desplace says Cr Edwards is not the only person who has been quietly surprised at the services provided at the island respite facility. “The care team at the retreat are local island residents ensuring a strong connection to the island and community.” Cr Mark Edwards said he was surprised and pleased at the contribution the registered disability provider makes to the island community. “I had no idea that the Me You Us Island Retreat employs so many islanders. It is a huge boost to our economy,” the councillor said. People involved include those with experience in disability, nursing, community services, human services and allied health..

• CR Mark Edwards with the Me You Us Macleay Island team.