Todd’s story

"Living in a Youngcare Apartment is like winning the lottery"

For Todd Winther, who wrote and featured in Youngcare’s latest TV commercial, the worst thing about disability is not the lack of physical movement but the lack of choice.

While living with his parents on the Sunshine Coast, Todd, like many young people, had hoped to leave home and go to university. But such options were not open to an 18-year-old with cerebral palsy.

After a ten-year struggle to try to gain his independence, he resorted to desperate measures. He locked himself into the Disability Services Queensland (DSQ) offices and refused to leave until he was promised appropriate accommodation.

“Basically, when a person turns 18, they are cut off from funding,” Todd explains. “I wanted to study political science in Brisbane, but, Disability Services Queensland literally said, ‘You are not disabled enough [to receive the required funding]’.

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“I had to wait ten years, and it got to the point where it wasn’t beneficial for my health and for my parents’ health that I continued to live with them.”

Todd was provided with a place at the Youngcare Wesley Mission Queensland Apartments at Sinnamon Park.

“Living in a Youngcare apartment is like winning the lottery, because I get everything that I need,” he said. “My parents love the fact that they know I’m secure, but I also have autonomy which is what I really crave.”

Todd created the advert to encourage public support for Youngcare. “Even if someone donates just a dollar or two dollars, you’re not only having a profound impact on the person who actually gets to move into a Youngcare place. You’re having an impact on their family and everybody that’s connected to them.”