Looking to the future

November 2022

The financial strength of the Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation continues to grow as the board looks to future developments.

“It has become clear to the board that we need to have some documentation in place that we can present to potential land donors, benefactors and or sponsors be they private or government,” said newly re-elected President Matthew Dixon in his 2022 Annual Report.

“We have engaged the services of (Adelaide-based company) City Collective to produce a pitch document.

“This will be used in discussions with both local and state governments and others in relation to future development opportunities.

“I am very hopeful that we will have something more concrete to report in the next 12 months,” he said.

Mr Dixon,  who has been President since 2018, again congratulated Treasurer and Vice-President Dr Jerry Leech on being awarded an AM in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours and noted with sadness the passing of Kevin ‘KC’ Clayfield.

“Kevin was the first resident of our second home. He always had a happy cheeky smile and really did love his time in Cheshire,” he said.

“He will be dearly missed by his family, fellow residents and the staff at Cheshire.”

The AGM also returned board members Jerry Leech, Mary Heysen, Greg Clayfield, Di Little and Stuart Stansfield for two-year terms.

Other board members are Neville Gilbertson OAM, Peter Telford, Sue Roberts and Secretary Bernadette Douglas.

Tribute to Kevin 'KC' Clayfield

November 2022

Cheshire home resident Kevin ‘KC’ Clayfield is being remembered as someone who was blessed with a cheeky grin and a wonderful sense of fun and optimism.

He will also be an ongoing inspiration to all who met him.

Born in December 1964, Kevin was the youngest of 10 children of Dorothy and Lancelot Clayfield of Glenroy in the Penola district.

A large family and caring parents created a sympathetic and caring environment for a child with Down Syndrome.

His mother insisted he be integrated into all aspects of family activities. As the second child with a disability in the family, Mrs Clayfield was also keen that Kevin received the best of education.

This included completing a Tafe course which led to him being employed as an apprentice and ultimately assistant gardener at Boandik Lodge.

He initially boarded in Mount Gambier, but with the encouragement of his ever-confident mother, bought a house of his own in 1993.

In a great personal achievement, KC spent 27 years at Boandik Lodge, but in 2013 lost interest in gardening and went to work at Bedford Industries.

In time health challenges meant he could no longer live independently, so returned to the family property, Oakbanks Farm, for a period before moving into Jarvis Wing at Penola Hospital.

The opening of Cheshire enabled KC to realise his wish to return to Mount Gambier.

“The fantastic facility combined with the selfless and loving care provided by the Home Care Plus team has played a significant role in Kevin’s final years and in particular the last challenging eight months,” said KC’s brother Greg Clayfield, who delivered the eulogy at Kevin’s funeral service.

“The 20 or so staff provided remarkable 24/7 love and care in a fun-filled environment,” said Mr Clayfield, who serves on the Board of the Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation.

KC was an AFL fan and ardent Collingwood supporter, but at the local level came to be embraced by the North Gambier family and was for a time its water bottle manager and part of the inner sanctum particularly post-game.

Kevin was also interested in greyhound racing and was a registered post-race catcher at Tara Raceway.

He was also a capable 10 pin bowler, eight-ball player and word puzzle exponent.

Image of 1 person, glasses, thumbs up

Kevin 'KC' Clayfield - a character and inspiration to us all.

Therapy dog success

September 2022

Visits by pet therapy dogs have proved a big success with residents.

Handlers from the Blue Lake Obedience Dog Club's Pet Therapy Team bring an average of five dogs to the homes each week.  

Residents spend about an hour with the dogs, with the interaction bringing smiles to faces and melting hearts all round.   Activities include reading to the dogs which range from a Toy Poodle and Border Collies to a Golden Retriever and a Pomeranian-cross.

The visits began earlier this year.

Therapy dog pictured alongside resident

The therapy dog visits bring smiles all around.

Board Member Honoured

June 2022

The Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation congratulates Board Member Jerry Leech on being recognised in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Jerry was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to the forestry industry, tertiary education and the community.

He has been Treasurer of our Foundation since 2003 and was instrumental in securing and administering a Building Better Regions Fund grant of about $500,000 which enabled development of our second home, Cheshire.

He also arranged a Rotary International Global Grant for the purchase of a GeneXpert analysis machine to test for Multi-Drug Resistant TB for the Ryder-Cheshire home Klibur Domin in Timor-Leste.

Side profile head and shoulders photo of Jerry Leech
Dr Jerry Leech AM

Foundation Welcomes Patron

March 2022

The Governor of South Australia, Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, has become Patron of the Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation.

“We were delighted when the Governor visited our two homes and feel honoured that she has now agreed to become our Patron,” said Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation Board President Matthew Dixon.

“Her patronage is welcome recognition of the work that has been done to build and maintain these homes for people living with a disability.

“We aim to provide the best accommodation in a caring, respectful and compassionate environment,” he said.

Mrs Adamson toured the homes and met residents, staff and board members during her first official visit to SA's South East in December 2021.

SA Governor, Her Excellency the Hon Frances Adamson AC, pictured with Cheshire home residents Kevin, David and Luciano.
Ryder home resident Bernadette received birthday well-wishes from SA Governor Frances Adamson. 

Photo gallery

SA Governor Frances Adamson visit December 2021

SA Governor Frances Adamson visit 2021.

BBRF Announcement 2017

(L-R) Jerry Leech, Neville Gilbertson, Di Little and MHR Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Barker.
Tony Pasin holding up the approved plans for Cheshire.

SA Governor Hieu Van Le visit 2017

Kelly Vincent MLC visit 2017

Kelly Vincent MLC (third from left) pictured during a visit to Ryder.

Governor General Quentin Bryce visit 2016

Governor General Quentin Bryce with residents.

SA Governor Kevin Scarce visit 2010

State Patron, the Governor of SA, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR pictured with residents during a visit to Ryder in 2010. 

From our album

Photo showing two people
Visit to Government House.

Home and garden

Cheshire front exterior.
Ryder front lawn.
Raised garden beds at Ryder
Raised garden beds at Ryder.
Group photo taken in garden during workign bee
Working bee at the homes.


Head and shoulders photo of Lady Sue Ryder
Photo from Sue Ryder charity website:

Lady Sue Ryder address in Mount Gambier

Lady Sue Ryder was keynote speaker at the Rotary District 978 Conference held in Mount Gambier in March, 1991. 

Click here to listen to her address (27 minutes).