Northern Rivers based Social Futures has received a Premier’s Award for improving government services with a special presentation made by NSW Minister for Disability Services, The Hon. Ray Williams.

Social Futures delivers the Ability Links program across Northern NSW and is the lead agency for the North West Alliance which delivers Ability Links across 87% of regional NSW.

North West Alliance Program Manager Valerie Thompson was on hand to receive the award and said it was recognition of all the wonderful work the Linkers do in our communities.

“Ability Links NSW is a fantastic program that supports people with disabilities to better access our communities and to tap into services that they otherwise might not have benefited from.”

“Ability Links fills in many of the gaps in regional communities, particularly around supporting people to connect to community and feel like they belong. The program also leads the way in supporting our communities to become more inclusive, which in the long term benefits us all.”

“Independent evaluation has shown that Ability Links NSW makes a significant contribution to our communities socially and economically, with a $3 return to communities for every $1 spent. It really is a win-win program.”

To date, Ability Links providers across New South Wales have supported more than 100,000 participants with the program model labelled “a winner” by Urbis Director of Economic and Social Advisory Alison Wallace, who was responsible for the three-year evaluation of the Ability Links NSW program.

“In 25 years of evaluating government initiatives, I have rarely come across a program that has achieved so much in such a short space of time.”

“People with disability, their families and carers highly value Ability Links and told us countless stories of the positive impact it has had. The evaluation clearly shows that people’s lives really are being changed,” she said.

 

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