Amy Day marks end of an era
By ED SOUTHORN
AMY Knowles has said goodbye to the awardwinning Tweed Vacation Care service, one of her "favourite places" for the past 13 years.
Amy has Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome and is confined to a wheelchair.
She was the longest-attending pupil at the care centre on the grounds of the South Tweed Public School in Heffron Street, until last Friday ? "Amy Day".
Pupils and staff at the centre held a special afternoon tea presentation for Amy, who has speech difficulties, poor muscle tone, a heart condition and kidney problems. Her health remains stable.
Amy's enrolment at Southport Special School has finished and she is about to join an adult care program at the Shepherd Community Centre, Southport.
Amy has many friends at Tweed Vacation Care, and on Friday they showed just how much they care about the active, friendly young woman who loves music.
Taylor Skeet, 9, wrote a pop tune for Amy, which he played on an amplified electric guitar to the afternoon tea gathering, accompanied by three girls who danced and recited a poem written for Amy.
As well, Stacey Wade, 12, read her poem for Amy, who shed a few tears as her friends paid tribute.
Amy's parents Joy and Steve told the gathering that Tweed Vacation Care was one of Amy's favourite places.
The care centre's director, Sue Gamble, said Amy was the "heart and soul of how we feel about our vacation care service".
"Amy symbolises what inclusion means to us.
"She helps the kids recognise that we all need help.
"Amy's legs don't work, that's why she's in a wheelchair. My eyes don't work, that's why I need glasses.
"The kids are very respectful and careful of Amy. She is so welcoming and friendly," Sue said.
Tweed Vacation Care has been providing family help locally for more than 20 years. The service is a recent multiple winner of the NSW Out of School Hours (OOSH) Care Awards, with about 800 enrolled kids and about 50 staff.
Helped by her positive involvement at Tweed Vacation Care, Amy enjoys socialising.