From homebound to outward bound

From homebound to outward bound

Nicole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in December 2009. She tells her story in her own words:

I went to the doctor because I had three cold fingers and that’s when I got the diagnosis. It was devastating. I was a full-time working mother and it seemed like my world had collapsed.

 

The MS soon progressed and I was living permanently in a chair. This left me homebound and financially it was a disaster. My husband could only work three days a week on reduced hours so he could look after me. Our combined income was reduced to just $30,000.

I couldn’t afford to ever get out, I couldn’t get a wheelchair, couldn’t see my friends. It was just depressing and that’s what I thought life was going to be like for me from then on. Before too long I developed anxiety.

Then the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) arrived. I had my first meeting with Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Katrina from Social Futures in March 2018 and from that moment my life and my family’s life has changed, out of this world. Just amazing.

With assistance from disability services provider Breakthru I was able to hire transport and a support worker to take me out. My first trip out was to Bunnings – can you believe it? Bunnings! And I loved it! 

Everyone gets a break

My friends can now come over and take me out for lunch, I have a support worker so my husband can get a break and play golf once a week. I have a cleaner and my kids don’t have to come and look after me. I can go to physio myself in my new powered wheelchair.

Now I’m just so happy and so shocked all at the same time. The NDIS has been life changing. Before the NDIS I couldn’t afford anything, I was sitting in a chair, I was so depressed. I used to do art therapy, I did it for hours and hours and hours. And I thought, that’s all there was. That’s now my life. And that’s all it’s going to be from now on.

My husband – he had to do everything. He was a man trying to style my hair! Now I have help. And now I have a life. I almost have to have a booking diary I am so busy these days!

The physio has also been great. My legs are a bit better now and she has me up doing a few steps. That has helped with my anxiety too.

I was a barmaid for 26 years, I was a really social person. After my MS diagnosis I didn’t visit the supermarket for years, but the other day I went down in my power chair and it took me hours to do the shopping with all the people stopping me to say hello.

Home modifications approved

I’ve just had home modifications approved for a deck and a ramp so I’ll soon be able to get out my front door for the first time in six years. With help from Reita (my new LAC from Social Futures) I’m going to apply for bathroom and laundry modifications so I can even do laundry. We’re looking into car modifications too so I can get my power chair in the car.

It was a rough start with the NDIS because I didn’t understand it. And letting people into my home and my life was challenging, but it’s been lifesaving.

Now I’m sitting on a cushion that’s helping my pain from sitting all the time and that’s also funded by the NDIS. What can I say, other than I love it.

 

“My first trip out was to Bunnings – can you believe it? Bunnings! And I loved it!” (Nicole)

Nicole’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • Rebuild her social life
  • Enjoy quality family time
  • Improve her mobility
  • Purchase key equipment.

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

From homebound to outward bound

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From hobby sketching to the Archibald Prize

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Opportunity Pathways supports access to study and work

Opportunity Pathways supports access to study and work

young woman hanging hi-viz shirts on the line

Social Futures is offering a new program called Opportunity Pathways for Rent Choice recipients and social housing clients to help them access education, training and work in the Northern Rivers region.

The program offers flexible, personalised support to people who want to improve their employment options. Participants will have access to pre-employment training, employment support, post-employment support and housing independence services.

Anyone interested in the program can contact Jason McDonald, Program Manager on 0428 856 546 or by email [email protected].

Opportunity Pathways is a new initiative under Futures Directions in Social Housing NSW.

Read the FULL MEDIA RELEASE

Auslan signing comes to Byron Writers Festival

Auslan signing comes to Byron Writers Festival

This year the Deaf Community will have more access to the Byron Writers Festival, beginning with an Auslan-signed promotional video developed in collaboration with Social Futures’ Far North Coast (FNC) Ability Links.

The video features FNC Ability Links Co-Manager Sigrid Macdonald introducing the event and explaining the Auslan interpreting services that will be available during the festival, which runs from 2-4 August at Elements of Byron Resort. “It’s great to see Byron Writers Festival in the vanguard of public events realising the need to make themselves more accessible to people with disabilities, including members of the Deaf Community like myself,” Sigrid said.

Download the media release

In collaboration with:

 

‘Fight like a girl’ self-defence class sure to be a hit

‘Fight like a girl’ self-defence class sure to be a hit

Coach self defence training

Fight Like A Girl self-defence has come back to B-Space in Ballina for a six-week course starting 23 May 2019. This is a girls’ only class that builds confidence and empowers participants with useful skills in a safe and fun environment.
The course is being taught by Sensei Rachel Whiting, who has over 30 years’ experience teaching martial arts and self-defence. She is passionate about teaching girls the skills they need to keep themselves safe as the situation arises.

 

Download media release
Remembering Sorry Day …

Remembering Sorry Day …

the word sorry in the sky against sydney opera house

… and the impact of the Stolen Generations on all Aboriginal people in Australia. Our thoughts are with our staff, our participants, our wider communities and their loved ones. We remember and honour Elders past, present and those who are yet to come.

Sorry Day has been held annually on 26 May since 1998. It provides an important reminder for everyone in Australia to remember the past policies of forced child removal. On Sorry Day we reflect on the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations and recognise moments of resilience, healing and the power of saying Sorry.

The first Sorry Day was held ten years after the publication of the Bringing Them Home report. However a report on government services, released by the Productivity Commission last year, said there were 17,664 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in 2016-17, compared with 9,070 in 2007-08. So is sorry enough?

Read more about the Stolen Generations and the history of Sorry Day in this fantastic information sheet from Reconciliation Australia.

Right Support. Right Time. 2019 Better Chances Regional Forum

Right Support. Right Time. 2019 Better Chances Regional Forum

The 2019 Better Chances Regional Forum Right Support. Right Time. will focus on the skills, support and relationships we need to do better. It’s an opportunity to challenge ourselves as workers, managers and organisations in community, health and education services, and as community members, families and commissioning agencies (funders), to think about what we need to do differently. What do we need to operate in a more trauma responsive way? How can we create better chances for children, young people and their families in the Northern Rivers?

Date: Thursday 13 June 2019
Time: 9am-4pm
Venue: Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre
Tickets: $35/ticket
Online bookings: www.trybooking.com/BCGDE  

Download the forum flyer

More information: Ian O’Reilly (BCF Convenor at Social Futures)
Email:
[email protected]
Phone: 0438 005 798

 

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