There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home

Just a few years ago, Tammy had reached the point of considering moving into supported accommodation due to the impact of her disability.

The long-term Forbes resident was increasingly isolated and incapacitated by Devic’s disease, caused by the inflammation and de-myelination of the optic nerve. This leads to progressive weakening of the legs and hands, and vision impairment.

“It came on about 10 years ago when I was in my mid-30s,” Tammy says. “I thought it was just a pinched nerve, until one day I collapsed on my front steps and wound up in hospital.

“I was fortunate enough to be seen by a neurologist who had experience of the condition – too often it gets misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis.”

After that Tammy’s condition continued to worsen to the point that she had to stop teaching music and also cease working as an office manager for a friend’s business. With no family support and no means of supporting herself, five years ago Tammy reluctantly signed up for the Disability Support Pension.

“Luckily I have a lot of support from my Uniting Church congregation which helped me through the worst times,” she says.

Choice of supports

A couple of years ago Tammy heard about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and decided to apply, and was accepted straight away. Her First Plan was agency-managed but, with increasing self confidence, Tammy has now appointed a Plan Manager for her Second Plan which widens her choice of supports.

“My Local Area Coordinator, Belinda Separovic (from NDIS Partner Social Futures), has been great with referrals and emotional support,” Tammy says. “There have been rough patches where I’ve had to contact her a lot, and she always tries to find the answer for me.

“With my First Plan I was able to access occupational therapy and physiotherapy. The OT helped me get my first-ever electric wheelchair, which I really needed, and the physio designed a proper exercise regime for me. They’re heaps better than the online exercises I’d been trying to follow!

“My Second Plan now includes 20 hours of funded support every week and I’ve been able to employ four support workers with the help of my Plan Manager. They provide personal care, clean my house, maintain my garden and will soon be able to take me out for community activities.”

Back in the groove

Tammy can still drive but recently purchased a wheelchair-accessible van, which means her support workers can take her out to do the shopping or go on social outings.

“My vision is good enough to drive but mostly I just don’t have the confidence anymore,” she says.

Now that she has enough support to stay in her home, she’s hoping to get back to work.

“I teach piano, guitar and drums, but realistically I don’t have the energy to get back to what I used to do. However, now that I have support it would be nice to teach at least a few clients.

“With help from my physio, I’m also hoping to regain at least some mobility. But mostly, I’m just very happy feeling safe and secure in my own home.”

 

“Mostly, I’m just very happy feeling safe and secure in my own home.” (Tammy)

Tammy’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • Buy her first electric wheelchair
  • Develop a personal exercise program
  • Stay in her own home

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

There’s no place like home

Just a few years ago, Tammy had reached the point of considering moving into supported accommodation due to the impact of her disability. The long-term Forbes resident was increasingly isolated and incapacitated by Devic’s disease, caused by the inflammation and...

read more

Zac’s change of scenery pays off

When Zac Oatley moved to Yamba on NSW's North Coast with his family two years ago it was the start of a new life in more ways than one. Not only was it a change of scenery from his native Queensland, it was also the start of his National Disability Insurance Scheme...

read more

Katy blossoms as independence grows

Katy is the apple of her parents' eye but they don't shy away from the tough times they have experienced in raising her.   Now 30 years old, Katy has a significant intellectual disability and other medical issues and has required 24/7 care for her entire life....

read more

Nathan’s night of nights

Nathan Johnston is a born performer and artist. Raised and still living with his family in NSW's Tweed Heads region, he has always loved acting, painting and singing.   Since leaving school 10 years ago he’s taken his talent to the next level, and with the...

read more

Jacqui overcomes the odds

Jacqui and her father Don (pictured here with LAC Cindy at left) have overcome the sorts of odds that would have defeated most people many times over – and still come up smiling.   The story begins in 1980 when, as a 15 year old, Jacqui was a passenger in a car...

read more

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Free skate, scooter and BMX clinics in GRAFTON

Free skate, scooter and BMX clinics in GRAFTON

Get OFF THE WALL this week with FREE skate, scooter and BMX clinics at Grafton Skate Park!

WHEN?  FROM 2-4.30pm onGrafton easter skate park activity

  • Tuesday 16 April – BMX
  • Wednesday 17 April – Scooter
  • Thursday 18 April – Skate

WHERE? Grafton Skate Park

Limited spaces, book your places!

Call Sonya 0427 317 595 | Shaun 0417 598 392 | Ricky 0427 333 281

Parental/carer consent required for young people under 16.

DOWNLOAD THE POSTER

 

Fifteen fabulous young songwriters will battle it out for prizes

Fifteen fabulous young songwriters will battle it out for prizes

Young Songwriters AwardsFifteen young songwriters have been chosen to perform live at this year’s Lismore Young Songwriters Competition Finalists Showcase on Friday 12 April [tomorrow] at Studio One29, Southern Cross University.

The young songwriters hail from Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Lismore, Lennox Head, Grafton, Evans Head and places in between and will battle it out for more than $11,500 worth of prizes.

Lismore Young Songwriters Competition committee member, Madeline Seely of Social Futures, said prizes on offer included professional RODE microphones, double passes to Splendour in the Grass, mastered track recordings at Rockinghorse Studios, SAE Institute Byron Bay, and Southern Cross University, a fantastic stereo system from The Audio Room, paid gigs at Crankfest Youth Festival, and the Lismore Lantern Parade and more.

“It’s such a great opportunity for our budding musicians to get their name out there, but also to win some real prizes for their talent which can help launch their career,” Madeline said. “The Finalists Showcase is popular and tickets to last year’s event sold out quickly. It’s a free event but it’s important to reserve a ticket well in advance so you don’t miss out.”

CLICK TO BOOK TICKETS WHILE THEY LAST

Easter Holiday Workshops in Ballina

Easter Holiday Workshops in Ballina

All workshops $10 | call Kate 0427 884 678 for more information

Looking for something to do these school holidays?
Check out what’s happening at Ballina B-SPACE and book your place today!

 

Skateboarding

Learn how to carve and like a pro, with the Pros!

WHEN : Tuesday, 23 April | 10am-1pm
WHERE: Truckstop Sk8
2/19 Clark Street, Ballina
(near Ballina Ten Pin Bowling)
COST: $10 per skater

Places limited book NOW!
Bookings and more information: CALL or EMAIL

Get dancing

A super fun 1.5 hour 80’s and 90’s Dance workshop with Marissa from The Cassettes, includes movie and popcorn. Lucky door prize!

WHEN : Wednesday, 24 April | 10am-11.30am
WHERE: B-SPACE
32 Swift Street, Ballina
COST: $10 per dancer

Places limited book NOW!
Bookings and more information: CALL or EMAIL

Woodworking

Work with Jason Shrieves from Boat Channel Boardracks to make a project to take home!

WHEN : Wednesday, 24 April | 12.30pm-3.30pm
WHERE: B-SPACE
32 Swift Street, Ballina
COST: $10 per participant

Places limited book NOW!
Bookings and more information: CALL or EMAIL

Fight like a girl

A three hour introduction to self defense for *GIRLS ONLY* with Sensei Rachel Whiting.
Learn how to keep yourself safe.

WHEN : Friday 26 April | 10am-1pm
WHERE: B-SPACE
32 Swift Street, Ballina
COST: $10 per participant Girls aged 12-17 ONLY

Places limited book NOW!
Bookings and more information: CALL or EMAIL

Post expires at 9:00am on Saturday April 27th, 2019

Zac’s change of scenery pays off

Zac’s change of scenery pays off

When Zac Oatley moved to Yamba on NSW’s North Coast with his family two years ago it was the start of a new life in more ways than one. Not only was it a change of scenery from his native Queensland, it was also the start of his National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) journey.

 

The 10-year-old schoolboy has cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, complicated by dystonia – a neurological condition that causes muscles to spasm involuntarily.

Mum Crystie says that since the move and the start of his NDIS supports, Zac “is one happy kid”.

“Moving to Yamba has been a great experience for Zac,” Crystie says. “He’s now in Year 5 and being really well supported at school in a mainstream class. 

“Zac physically can’t do much, including feeding himself. However, his verbal skills are slowly getting better and he understands most of what you tell him.

“He enjoys socialising but he’s got his own way of letting you know when he wants ‘alone time’!”

Support worker of choice

Crystie manages Zac’s NDIS plan herself. After two years, she finds that self-management brings many benefits, such as flexibility in choosing the support worker of her choice.

“I met this gentleman back in 2017 when we were both undertaking a Certificate III Individual Learning Support course at TAFE. He’s basically more of a mate to Zac than a carer and Zac loves him. They’re always going out to the beach, to the skatepark or the shops together.

“Zac’s happy and I’m happy. After all these years of struggling to fund Zac’s care through working multiple jobs and not having a spare minute, finally my husband Ross and I can have some time for each other.”

NDIS funding has also allowed Crystie to purchase a range of assistive technology for Zac including an electric wheelchair, a standframe, a walker, Eye Gaze communication technology, orthotic shoes and bath aids.

Other supports include speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, all organised with the help of Social Futures Local Area Coordinator Susan Knight.

“We’re working on building his independence and eventually we’d like to build the ‘Zac house’ to cater to his long-term needs,” Crystie says.

Crowdfunding campaign

In the meantime the focus is on Zac’s upcoming femur rotation surgery scheduled for July this year, a procedure that will allow him to straighten his legs for the first time.

“Zac is a tough cookie but the recovery period is going to be six to eight weeks, so it will be challenging. However, the payoff will be that he will be able to walk much better.”

Zac’s third Plan begins in May and the family is simultaneously running a crowdfunding campaign to finance extra equipment for when Zac gets out of hospital, such as a heated spa for hydrotherapy and a hi-lo lift bed.

“Our aim is to raise $12,000 and we’re well on our way,” Crystie says. “After all this time, we’re finally able to look forward to the future with confidence.”

 

“Eventually we’d like to build the ‘Zac house’ to cater to his long-term needs” (Crystie, mum)

Zac’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Become more independent
  • Access therapeutic supports
  • Purchase a range of assistive technology
  • Enjoy more quality family time

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

There’s no place like home

Just a few years ago, Tammy had reached the point of considering moving into supported accommodation due to the impact of her disability. The long-term Forbes resident was increasingly isolated and incapacitated by Devic’s disease, caused by the inflammation and...

read more

Zac’s change of scenery pays off

When Zac Oatley moved to Yamba on NSW's North Coast with his family two years ago it was the start of a new life in more ways than one. Not only was it a change of scenery from his native Queensland, it was also the start of his National Disability Insurance Scheme...

read more

Katy blossoms as independence grows

Katy is the apple of her parents' eye but they don't shy away from the tough times they have experienced in raising her.   Now 30 years old, Katy has a significant intellectual disability and other medical issues and has required 24/7 care for her entire life....

read more

Nathan’s night of nights

Nathan Johnston is a born performer and artist. Raised and still living with his family in NSW's Tweed Heads region, he has always loved acting, painting and singing.   Since leaving school 10 years ago he’s taken his talent to the next level, and with the...

read more

Jacqui overcomes the odds

Jacqui and her father Don (pictured here with LAC Cindy at left) have overcome the sorts of odds that would have defeated most people many times over – and still come up smiling.   The story begins in 1980 when, as a 15 year old, Jacqui was a passenger in a car...

read more

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Budget underwhelming for Northern Rivers residents

Budget underwhelming for Northern Rivers residents

Australian Commowealth Crest and words Budget 2019-20

Social Futures CEO Tony Davies has welcomed the Federal Budget announcement that $527.9 million has been set aside for the proposed Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People With a Disability – but says there is little else to celebrate for residents of the Northern Rivers.

“Congestion-busting initiatives are all well and good for big city residents but we actually want some decent social and economic infrastructure in places such as the Northern Rivers,” Mr Davies said.

“Beyond the Royal Commission there’s not much for vulnerable people in this Budget.”

Mr Davies said the most obvious area overlooked by the Budget was the urgent need to lift the Newstart allowance, as called for by organisations including the Australian Council of Social Service and the Business Council of Australia.

Read full media release

Get the full budget details from the Australian Treasury

Listen to Tony’s interview with Bruce Mackenzie (ABC North Coast) on Wednesday 3 April, 2019

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