Today we celebrate 70 years of Sunnyfield. When reflecting on our past, ‘family’ is synonymous with our history. Sunnyfield started as a family-built organisation 70 years ago thanks to Hazel Whiddon, a determined mother who wanted a better future for her son. Hazel put an ad in the Manly Daily and discovered eighteen other mothers and fathers who all wanted to make a change for their children with disability. Together they built Sunnyfield into what it is today.
Sunnyfield has become like a second family for many clients, customers, and staff over the years. We’re lucky enough to have had the privilege and honour of supporting many people with disability through various phases of their life. For some, Sunnyfield has been a part of their lives since they were children.
Meet the Foldi Family
Kristine (Krissie) has been a Sunnyfield client since 1965 when she was just 9 years old. Krissie’s father, Keith, had the great fortune of taking on a new role at Philips Electrical, working alongside Fred Whiddon – the husband of Sunnyfield’s Founder, Hazel Whiddon. Fred introduced the Foldi Family to Sunnyfield, and they have never looked back.
Krissie was placed into Sunnyfield accommodation, where she was cared for, with the Foldi family visiting her on weekends. Since then, Krissie has built a great network of friends through our Community Services programs, and she lives independently in one of our Shared Living homes in the Northern Beaches, keeping close to her family.
Like all parents, it was hard to see Krissie move out of home; however, Keith said, “those early days at Sunnyfield proved to be the best for Krissie’s life.”
Not only did Sunnyfield profoundly impact Krissie’s life, but Keith’s as well. He was later appointed to the Board of Directors of Sunnyfield and continued to help with fundraising for many years. In 2021, at the age of 92, Keith was made an Honorary Life Member of Sunnyfield.
Sunnyfield holds a very special place for Keith, his late wife Andrea and Krissie’s brother and sister, Matthew and Maria.