Supporters like you


House with No Steps supporters like you are a remarkable group of people, passionate about giving people with a disability opportunities to lead a fulfilling life.

Learn more about some of our supporters who have expressed their commitment to House with No Step’s work with a legacy gift to give others a fair go for years to come.

Dorothy Watts, Co-founder and Ambassador

Dorothy Watts

Just like you, I know in my heart that people with a disability can achieve truly amazing things. When my husband, Lionel, and I first began House with No Steps, I was awed by the enormity of the task ahead: How could we make even the slightest difference in a world resolute on hiding people with a disability?

Just like you, I know in my heart that people with a disability can achieve truly amazing things. When my husband, Lionel, and I first began House with No Steps, I was awed by the enormity of the task ahead: How could we make even the slightest difference in a world resolute on hiding people with a disability?

Yet despite the many challenges, Lionel refused to let pessimism negate him. He knew at the very core of his being that the right thing to do was to persevere in the direction of his values. As an avid supporter of our work, you know exactly how far that resolve took Lionel – today House with No Steps is one of Australia’s leading disability organisations. Every person, regardless of their limitations, has the ability to do truly wonderful things. This is the message that House with No Steps instills in our clients daily. And this is the message that I hope you, too, will take away from this booklet.

By making a gift in your Will, you will truly make a life-changing contribution to the lives of many. The value of such a gift cannot be measured. My heartfelt wish is that House with No Steps will be there for as long as disability exists. I’m proud to have crystallised this wish by writing a gift in my Will to House with No Steps. I warmly encourage you to join me to ensure that House with No Steps can long continue to help people with a disability seize their inner talents and forge a life of inclusion, acceptance and dignity.”

Laura Henschke, Future Planning Manager

Laura Henschke

Laura Henschke shares why supporting House with No Steps with a gift in her Will is so important to her.

Laura arrived in Australia in 1977, newly married, from Peru. For her it was the country of new and amazing opportunities. She raised her family here, became a Citizen and made Australia her home.

Having seen first hand the trials and tribulations that people with a disability and their families have to overcome, she feels a very strong connection with this cause.

Laura is committed to giving back to the community and setting a good example for her children, family and friends. She feels Australians are generally a very generous bunch, and it is this generosity that inspired her to also include a gift in her Will to a cause that it is so close to her heart.

Laura has spent all of her life in Australia living in the Forest area and has witnessed the magnificent work achieved by those at House with No Steps. She now works there and would like to be part of their future as well as their present.

After speaking with her children, she decided to leave a gift in her Will to House with No Steps. This is a decision that has given her great joy as she knows that even when she is not here she will continue to support a cause she cares deeply for.

Thank you, Laura, your thoughtful planning will continue to support a life of dignity and joy for people with a disability.

Madeline Rosen

Madeline Rosen
Madeline Rosen

Madeline Rosen expresses her gratitude, “paying forward and back.” She shares with us her incredible story as asylum seeker and refugee. She also explains how she came to the decision to leave a gift in her Will…

Paul Alger

Paul Alger

Paul Alger talks about how choosing to include a gift in his Will for House with No Steps is a demonstration of his commitment, and a very easy and happy decision on his part.

Born in London, Paul came to Sydney in 1969 searching for work after a neighbour informed him there was a shortage of teachers in Australia.

As a Geography Teacher he quickly found work upon his arrival. He went on to spend about 20 years in country NSW, mainly in the Riverina area.

Paul loves it here, has now retired and calls Australia home. Throughout his life he always had a great respect and appreciation for those who, through no fault of their own, had to face great challenges in life. He has personally seen the great work that House with No Steps does in support of people with a disability, and has been donating to them for many years. For Paul it was an easy decision, and a show of his commitment for people with a disability, to include a gift in his Will for House with No Steps. In this way he feels he can honour his lifelong commitment and continue his mission of looking after those who have been disadvantaged in life.

Thank you, Paul, for your thoughtfulness and desire that people with a disability live a life of dignity and of dreams achieved.

The Late Mr Halvorsen and Mrs Halvorsen

Mr and Mrs Halvorsen
Trygve Halvorsen with Dorothy Watts

Through our 30 years of being associated with House with No Steps it has been our pleasure to give from our hearts. We have been delighted with the caring love House with No Steps has shown us. Our daughter Erica continues to be actively involved and supported by staff and we are now looking forward to a secure future for her.

Through our 30 years of being associated with House with No Steps, it has been our pleasure to be able to give from our hearts in many ways.

We have not been disappointed…on the contrary; we have been delighted with the caring love House with No Steps has shown us all. Our daughter Erica continues to be actively involved and supported by House with No Steps staff and we are now looking forward to a secure future for her. We can look back with great satisfaction on how we were able to support the growth of House with No Steps in our own ways: working in partnership with Lionel and Dorothy Watts, helping in the lamington drives under the expert guidance of Mrs Geary or with the maintenance of the buildings and the independent living units and making donations of money and property.

In looking forward, we wanted to ensure that both Erica and all the other people supported by House with No Steps had a bright future. In our quest for options we consulted with House with No Steps’ senior management and decided upon leaving a gift in our Wills to House with No Steps. That plan not only gives us the peace of mind to know we have catered for the needs of our family but also enabled us to make a contribution that will benefit the service users at House with No Steps for many years to come.

Ros Hadley

Ros Hadley

I have been supporting House with No Steps for 26 years and recently I decided to nominate House with No Steps as a beneficiary of my Will. I want the wonderful staff at House with No Steps to continue their critical work for years to come.

Ros contacted us to inform that she had left a bequest in her Will. Here she shares her passion for House with No Steps.

“I have been supporting House with No Steps for 26 years and recently I decided to nominate House with No Steps as a beneficiary of my Will. I want the wonderful staff at House with No Steps to continue their critical work for years to come.

I have seen the great work they do and how the programs help people with disabilities lead meaningful lives. When I was growing up I felt pride each time I mastered a new task – if I can remember feeling real pride – how much more meaningful it must be for someone with a physical or mental disability to learn new skills? Feeling proud in our achievements and having a sense of dignity surely defines our humanity.

My loved ones are doing very well so I know I can afford to give a gift in my Will to House with No Steps without disadvantaging them in any way. And I know the government cannot provide all the support that is required.

I feel fortunate that I can give something back to my local community – a community I love. It is a very good feeling indeed to be part of the future of House with No Steps.”

It’s a common myth that you have to be wealthy to leave a gift in your Will, but nothing could be further from the truth. After taking care of family and friends, you’ll be amazed at what one final gift, no matter how big or small, can do.

Whatever the amount, we’re extremely grateful for any gift that’s been included in a Will for us, as it helps us to continue the vision of Lionel and Dorothy Watts – a vision that offers people living with a disability meaningful opportunities and a life of dignity.

Ted and Ella Taylor

Ted and Ella Taylor

Ted and Ella Taylor were regular folk who enjoyed giving. They were blessed with much love and affection around them. Now through their planned gift in their Will, they will continue to be remembered and cherished by all of us.

An enduring love story

Ted and Ella Taylor were regular folk who enjoyed giving. They were blessed with much love and affection from those around them. Now, through their planned gift in their Will, they will continue to be remembered and cherished forever by all of us.

Ted and Ella met in the suburb of Belfield, NSW. It was the love of dancing that got them together so you can imagine what their bridal waltz was like at their wedding in 1951 at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Canterbury. This church, and their commitment to its community, played a large part in their life together.

Volunteering and helping others was an integral part of their lives. This included the armed services canteen in Martin Place, Sydney, during World War II. Many a lonely serviceman ended up at the Taylor’s home for one of Ella’s unsurpassed home cooked meals and happy company.

Ted and Ella were not graced with children of their own but their house was always full of young laughter. They were delighted to embrace the young members of the church, their neighbours, nephews and nieces, all of whom adopted them!

In the 1980s, they left for a sea change to Crowley Village, Ballina, where they spent their last 20 years. It was then that they became regular visitors to House with No Steps’ Summerland House Farm, Alstonville. They spent many mornings and lunch times at Alstonville and relished taking their visitors there as well.

The Taylor’s niece, Dawn Ogden, tells us: “They always admired how the people there had an uncomplicated outlook on life and the courage to follow what they believed in.”

Therefore it was no surprise when in mid 2013 House with No Steps received a gift from their Estate. It had been their wish that when the remaining partner passed away that House with No Steps would be the recipient of their planned generosity. We, of course, are delighted to honour their memory and apply their gift as it was intended for furthering the mission and vision of House with No Steps in Alstonville.

“Rest in peace, Aunty Ella and Uncle Ted. You were both a precious gift on loan from the heavens. I know you will be delighted that your bequest will be used to empower those wonderful people who overcome their disability with dignity and hope.” Dawn Ogden

House with No Steps is very grateful to have received this wonderful legacy which will be used to foster and develop inclusive communities that develop dignity, respect, and empower people with a disability.

Ted and Ella Taylor were regular Aussies who always showed great love towards others in their community and it is a fitting tribute that they will be forever in our memory through the House with No Steps’ Book of Remembrance.

Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson was a kind, gentle man. His gift to House with No Steps is indicative of his concern for people with a disability. He always liked to help anyone less fortunate than himself and his family is very proud of that.

1920 – 2015

Raymond Robinson was a regular Aussie who always showed great love towards others in their community

Raymond Vincent Robinson (known as ‘Ray’) was born in Gunnedah on 2nd July, 1920. He died on the 17th August 2015, aged 95. He was the youngest of seven children born to Clara (Pearce) and Christopher Robinson. He grew up in the small town of Curlewis where his father had a general store. He received his early education at the local public school before going on to high school at Gunnedah, travelling there by train each day.

When he left school he worked with his father and brothers in the family store at Curlewis, then Trundle, until the late 1930’s. With the outbreak of World War Two he enlisted in the army and served in New Guinea. After the war Ray spent most of his working life with the Taxation Department in Sydney.

“Ray Robinson was a kind, gentle man. In his own quiet way he supported many causes, giving generously to those in need for many years. His gift to ‘House with No Steps’ is indicative of his concern for people with a disability. He always liked to help anyone less fortunate than himself and his family is very proud of that” say Helen Robinson and Elaine Baxter, Raymond’s nieces.

House with No Steps is very grateful to have received this wonderful legacy which will be used to foster and develop inclusive communities that develop dignity, respect, and empower people with a disability. Raymond Robinson was a regular Aussie who always showed great love towards others in their community and it is a fitting tribute that he will be forever in our memory through the House with No Steps’ Book of Remembrance. This book celebrates the life of our Partners in Dignity.

Louisa Blom

Louisa Blom

Louisa was in many ways your ordinary Aussie battler who gave an extraordinary gift to people with a disability. When Louisa passed away on 26th February 2015, aged 94, she had a loving and significant gift to pass on right at Christmas time.

Louisa was in many ways your ordinary Aussie battler who gave an extraordinary gift of hope and joy to people with a disability.

Louisa was born on 10th May, 1921 in Flaardingen, Holland and grew up in Glanebrug, close to the German border. Marrying Theo at 18, they had 8 children, one of which died at the age of 6 months. This great loss was difficult for them to overcome but Louisa was a compassionate, strong willed and determined woman. This was not the only hurdle she had to overcome. It was war time and she was left at home looking after the children by herself while her husband went to war. Fortunately, Theo returned and they were all able to move safely to Rotterdam.

Eventually, in 1958, looking for a better future for themselves and their family, Louisa, Theo and four of their children moved to Australia. They lived for two years in a migrant camp in Richmond, NSW, before settling down in Bankstown. Peter, their son, tells us that at this time Louisa and Theo developed much love for Collie dogs, “Lassie” dogs, as they called them and had several over the years. Theo worked as a cook in the Air Force and in later years as a local truck driver. Peter also remembers that his mother was very fond of Lady Diana and had a wide collection of her photos.

However, her greatest love was for those less fortunate than herself. She understood well from her personal experience that some people need more help than others and was determined to do something about it. She realised that, even though she could only contribute in a small way at the time, she had the ability to contribute in a more significant way by planning for the future. In this manner she could give and make a real difference in the lives of people with a disability. At the time that she wrote her Will she planned to leave a major legacy, and an extraordinary Christmas gift, by assigning the whole of her estate to House with No Steps.

Upon Theo’s death in 1982, Louisa moved to Chester Hill and for the last 20 years of her life was in a care facility and nursing home. When Louisa passed away on 26th February 2015, aged 94 she had a loving and significant gift to pass on right at Christmas time. One that will be forever remembered at House with No Steps as an impactful indication of her love and concern for people with a disability.

Louisa and Theo’s names will be entered in our Partners in Dignity Remembrance Book and their legacy will live on for generations to come.

Teuntje Geertruida

Teuntje Geertruida
Teuntje Geertruida and Allan Vassallo

Teuntje Geertruida, better known as Tony, was a caring lady with a big heart who always brought a smile to people’s faces. She recently did an incredible thing by leaving a gift to House with No Steps in her Will.

1920 – 2015

Teuntje Geertruida, better known as Tony, was a caring lady with a big heart who always brought a smile to people’s faces. She recently did an incredible thing by leaving a gift to House with No Steps in her Will.

“She was a lovely lady. She was kind and caring but she was also very stern and strong”, said her close friend, Allan Vassallo.

Born in the Netherlands, Tony moved to Australia with her husband Johaane Christian Mieschke shortly after World War II. They first lived in an immigrant camp and after a while decided to call Narrabeen home.

Johaane worked as a carpenter and Tony found domestic work with a number of families in the area. Her reputation as a hard worker quickly earned her a position running the household of a wealthy Dutch family. She looked after their children, organised staff on the property and became a lifelong companion to her employer.

After trying for many years, Tony and Johaane were overjoyed at the birth of their son, Karl. He was their only child – their true pride and joy, but sadly he died at the age of 26. A number of years later, Johaane also passed away at 72, on the 2nd May 1993.

Before his passing, Johaane and Tony had decided that when the remaining partner passed away, House with No Steps would benefit from their generosity.

After Johaane’s passing, Tony was not lonely. She had a wonderful circle of close friends who looked after one another. One of whom was her former neighbour, Allan. Tony and Allan often spent their days taking long walks along Manly beach and speaking in their native Dutch language.

“She had battled so much in her life, especially with the loss of her son and her husband. She was an inspiration to me”, said Allan.

After living the last few years of her life in a nursing home in Bayview, Tony passed away on 21st December 2015.

“Tony never built any skyscrapers or solved world affairs but she changed people’s lives. She brought a smile to their faces and let them know that she cared – and those qualities are worth the world”, said Allan.

Tony’s generous gift to House with No Steps means that she will continue to change people’s lives and bring a smile to their faces. She and Johaane will always be remembered for their love and generosity for people with a disability.

A gift in your Will, no matter how big or small, will allow House with No Steps to continue with our mission of creating opportunities for people with a disability to make the most of their abilities.

For more information about our Partners in Dignity program, information about Wills or about leaving a gift in your Will, please call our Future Planning Manager, Laura Henschke on 1800 016 766 or write to giftsinwills@hwns.com.au.

Click here to learn more about our Partners in Dignity program, or contact Laura Henschke, our Future Planning Manager, by email or 1800 016 766.