Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year.

Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always struggled with lack of balance, which has impacted on his ability to play sport.

“Due to his condition, Lachie has never been able to ride a scooter or bike like other kids his age,” explains his mum Deborah.

“With his plan in place, Lachie has been seeing an occupational therapist (OT) and a personal trainer for a year now and he’s definitely improved,” she said.

“They are working on his core strength and he’s really been enjoying the personal training sessions.”

Lachlan’s main goals in his first plan were to tie his shoelaces, ride a bicycle and a scooter. One year down, and he has smashed all three! Tying his shoelaces – tick! Riding a scooter – tick! And now, just recently, Lachlan’s perseverance paid off when he learned the art of two-wheeled balance and started to ride a bike. Tick! Tick! Tick!

“It’s given him such confidence,” Deborah said. “He’s just so proud of himself, and of his achievements. As his parent, I thought he’d never ride a bike. I was nearly ready to give up.

“In our family we never say we can’t do something. We say, it’s something we’re trying to do. We might not be able to do it now, but one day we might be able to do it, and this experience has shown Lachie that this is very true.”

Lachlan goes to a mainstream school and earlier this year they had their first school camp.

“It was the first time Lachie has ever been away from home,” Deborah said. “He went for four nights and they camped by the water. At that point, Lachie was the only one out of the 100-plus kids attending who couldn’t ride a bike. Next year will be a different experience for him.

“I think he’ll really take off this year, just because his balance is better and his confidence has grown.”

“At the beginning I felt guilty about being on the NDIS because Lachie just looks like a normal little boy.

“Now I realise there’s kids on the NDIS with behavioural problems and other things you can’t see, and as he gets older I can see the huge difference having the NDIS plan will make.

Access to these treatments is going to make a huge impact to his quality of life. It will make all the difference,” Deborah said.

“In our family we never say we can’t do something. We say, it’s something we’re trying to do. We might not be able to do it now, but one day we might be able to do it, and this experience has shown Lachie that this is very true.”

Deborah (Lachie's mum)

NDIS Participant

Using his NDIS plan

Lachlan’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Learn how to ride a bicycle and a scooter
  • Learn how to tie his shoelaces
  • Improve his balance
  • Feel more confident

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

Putting family life back in the picture

Many people who have family members with disabilities experience the sadness and frustration of being so busy in their support roles that they can’t enjoy the pleasures of family life. For them, the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be...

read more

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year. Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always...

read more

Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

It has been just over a year since Ability Dreaming opened its doors and like any new business, there have been highs and lows according to Managing Director, Joel Everett. The first 12 months of any business is a notoriously difficult time for anyone, but adding a...

read more

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg. Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill...

read more

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).   The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and...

read more

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Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

It has been just over a year since Ability Dreaming opened its doors and like any new business, there have been highs and lows according to Managing Director, Joel Everett.

The first 12 months of any business is a notoriously difficult time for anyone, but adding a disability into the mix brings additional challenges. A participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Joel is vision impaired and has a mild learning difficulty but that hasn’t stopped him from realising his dream of helping others to achieve theirs.

“Do you want to know how this all started? I’ll tell you,” Joel said. “I lost my eyesight five years ago. And instead of sitting and watching a wall, doing nothing, I wanted to help others do something.

“It’s called Ability Dreaming, because everyone has ability. And everyone has a dream.”

Ability Dreaming specialises in providing people with a disability in Orange and NSW’s central west with access to one-of-a-kind events, adventures and experiences. However, family, friends, and indeed anyone of any ability is welcome. And so far, Joel, along with his Ability Dreaming General Manager, Drew Kirby, are kicking serious goals.

Ability Dreaming was a finalist in the 2019 Outstanding Business Awards in Orange, having been nominated in five categories including Excellence in Microbusiness; Excellence in Health, Fitness and Wellbeing; An Experienced Leader (35 years +); and Excellence in Tourism and Accommodation.

When asked how it feels to be recognised for his work on Ability Dreaming after only a year in business, Joel beams: “It feels like we are on the right track. We want to be consistent, to constantly deliver that quality of service each year, that is our goal.”

And that’s not the only goal that’s being kicked. One of the many dream trips organised this year included a mystery visit to a rugby league match in Manly, Sydney where clients were able to meet with Manly legend Steven Menzies.

“They were so excited. Our clients got to experience seeing the Manly team warm up right down there with them on the field, and they met with the cheerleaders and mascots and had their photos taken. We even had tickets to the members’ lounge at the Parramatta Eels club for one match.

“We also went to the Lindt Chocolate Factory and to Palm Beach where they film Home and Away. We all got to go into Alf’s Bait Shop – everyone was rapt. It was such a highlight.”

Other dreams have included close encounters with animals at Dubbo Zoo where clients patted reptiles and got close and cuddly with koalas. There have been trips organised to the Disney on Ice Show, to Disability Expos, to the go-karts, to Parramatta Bank West Stadium for the very first match there against the West Tigers, and to the Bathurst 1000, which was a particular highlight.

“Our clients were allowed into the pit area so they were close up to the action. One client got to meet a couple of the drivers. It was amazing! They were speechless. They couldn’t stop talking about it.”

That is exactly the response that Joel and Drew are looking for.

“This is what we’re about!” said Joel. “Giving people opportunities to live life to the best of their ability and live outside their comfort zone. Not many people have these opportunities. But we can provide them. Both for clients and their families.

“We are able to cater for plan-managed and self-managed NDIS participants. In fact, many of our clients are participants in the NDIS. We really appreciate the support the NDIS has been able to give us.”

Joel is also supported by the NDIS, which he says has been invaluable for him to operate his business. An NDIS-funded support worker assists him with everyday living, and also supports him to research business opportunities, attract sponsorship, build a website and get the word out – all difficult things for Joel to do unassisted given his vision impairment.

NDIS funding has also provided Joel with assistive technology which allows him to read and type out letters and emails.

As with any regional small business, Joel and Drew face many challenges. Currently they are surviving on the time and skills of six volunteer staff, and they hope to register for charity status soon. Transport and accessibility in regional Australia has also been a difficult hurdle to overcome.

“One of our biggest issues is finding the right transportation. We’ve had to hire buses, but they’re not even wheelchair accessible, which is embarrassing. We want to be able to offer everyone a unique experience, not just a select few. I know what we’re looking for. We just need a few investors to back our dream. We’re working really hard on that.”

The future is looking bright for Ability Dreaming as it plans an exciting year ahead, including taking a tour over to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics for which they are currently seeking sponsorship.

“You don’t want to be 90 years old with regrets. Live right now. That’s what I am doing. And that’s what we are helping others to do also.”

Ability Dreaming has already attracted strong local community and business support for their venture and are keen for more. To help Ability Dreaming make dreams come true, contact Joel at [email protected] – it will make his dream come true too.

“You don’t want to be 90 years old with regrets. Live right now. That’s what I am doing. And that’s what we are helping others to do also.”

 

Joel

NDIS Participant

Using his NDIS plan

Joel’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • begin his business
  • improve communication
  • spend time in the community
  • realise his dream of granting dreams to others

 

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

Putting family life back in the picture

Many people who have family members with disabilities experience the sadness and frustration of being so busy in their support roles that they can’t enjoy the pleasures of family life. For them, the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be...

read more

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year. Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always...

read more

Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

It has been just over a year since Ability Dreaming opened its doors and like any new business, there have been highs and lows according to Managing Director, Joel Everett. The first 12 months of any business is a notoriously difficult time for anyone, but adding a...

read more

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg. Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill...

read more

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).   The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and...

read more

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How reflective practice can improve our aged care sector

How reflective practice can improve our aged care sector

Social Futures recently made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommending all aged care workers are given the opportunity to participate in Wellness and Reablement Reflective Practice in order to continuously improve the quality of the care they provide.

Wellness and Reablement approaches support older people to maximise their independence and remain in their homes for as long as they can. Embedding Wellness and Reablement within this sector is a key goal for both the government and the broader aged care sector.

While most aged care workers are aware of Wellness and Reablement principles, many have not received formal training in the approach and are unclear how it relates to their individual work. Reflective practice is an important tool to enable aged care workers to successfully apply Wellness and Reablement in their practice. It provides a space for staff to think about how they work and practically apply Wellness and Reablement approaches to a range of relevant service delivery modes. The practice emphasises the value of their contributions while safely challenging any biases and assumptions they may hold.

Since Social Futures first piloted the concept in 2018, we have facilitated fifteen Wellness and Reablement Reflective Practice sessions with aged care workers in the Northern Rivers region. These participants reported that reflective practice is far more effective at integrating Wellness and Reablement into their day-to-day work than a traditional information session. Importantly, reflective practice allows for continuous learning and reassessment of skills, critical in changing established ways of working.

Social Futures offers free Wellness and Reablement Reflective Practice sessions for community aged care service providers in the Northern Rivers to help embed this approach within their service framework. Email [email protected] for more information or to book a session.

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg.

Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill for a social visit. She loves a chat. “I know all about her family and the goings on for Marg,” Angela says.

Marg (58) and her husband Tex (65) are long-time residents of Broken Hill. Marg has NDIS funding and supports in place to help with intellectual disabilities and hearing impairment.

 

 

Up until recently Marg and Tex were renting a house which was so decrepit, it had been condemned. They were there for more than 10 years. There was no air conditioning, it was poorly kept and it was making Marg ill.

“One day she came in crying,” recalls Angela. “Her son had had a child but he refused to bring him to the house to see her.

“Marg lifted her skirt and showed me her legs. She was covered in bites. You could see the sores on her. At night things were crawling all over her. I organised for a cleaner to go out but the quote was colossal, it was such a hideous mess. Marg begged us for help to find somewhere new.

“I had a chat with the agent and told them we included house and yard maintenance supports in Marg’s NDIS plan, and this is what got them over the line in the end. If they didn’t have the NDIS, they wouldn’t have gotten the property.”

The day the real estate agent told Marg and Tex they had a house, they were over the moon. They were at the agent’s office before noon for the 2.30pm viewing.

Their new home is in a nice part of town, close to the CBD, with easy access to transport, and it has air conditioning. All just in the nick of time for summer and for a family Christmas.

“I don’t think they ever thought they would get out of the house they were in.,” Angela says.

“Now they have a much happier and healthier standard of living.”

“We are just so excited to have a real home. It has a bath! And air conditioning! And a new stove! We couldn’t have done this without the help from the NDIS. We couldn’t be happier,” exclaims Marg.

Marg and Tex’s new home is having a few little touches made before they move in in the New Year. With funding from the NDIS the front access to the property will be widened to accommodate their scooter and bath feet are being added to help with safe entry to the bath.

When Marg first accessed the NDIS through Social Futures, she couldn’t hear. Her LAC made an appointment for her to have her ear drained and then to obtain a hearing aid. “She came in all excited because she could hear!” Angela says.

The future is looking so much brighter for Marg and Tex. Angela is now helping Marg to pursue a volunteer role at an Op Shop in the New Year.

“They’ve come a long way. And they’re happy. They are over the moon. Marg is so appreciative of the NDIS and so excited about her new home and her new life.”

 

 

 

 

“We are just so excited to have a real home. It has a bath! And air conditioning! And a new stove! We couldn’t have done this without the help from the NDIS. We couldn’t be happier.”

Marg

NDIS Participant

Using her NDIS plan

Marg’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • achieve safe and comfortable housing
  • improve both her and her husband’s general health
  • improve her hearing and quality of life through a hearing aid
  • increase confidence and social connection through visits and experience at the Op Shop
  • improve access to family and social connections

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

Putting family life back in the picture

Many people who have family members with disabilities experience the sadness and frustration of being so busy in their support roles that they can’t enjoy the pleasures of family life. For them, the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be...

read more

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year. Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always...

read more

Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

It has been just over a year since Ability Dreaming opened its doors and like any new business, there have been highs and lows according to Managing Director, Joel Everett. The first 12 months of any business is a notoriously difficult time for anyone, but adding a...

read more

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg. Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill...

read more

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).   The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Everyone Benefits From Inclusion

Everyone Benefits From Inclusion

Everyone Benefits From Inclusion

Social Futures LAC program staff were thrilled to work with the Murwillumbah Show Society and Tweed Shire Council to make sure people of all abilities had equal access to be part of the Murwillumbah Show. Watch our video discussing inclusion.

Everyone benefits when communities are inclusive.

Follow the below link to read about more stories from our NDIS program participants.

Or fill out the below form to connect with one of our local area coordinators to discuss how Social Futures and the NDIS can support you.

15 + 3 =

Dirty Laundry Day Project 2019

Dirty Laundry Day Project 2019

2018 dirty laundry logoThe Dirty Laundry Day Project is a powerful community education campaign to raise awareness of domestic and family violence in our communities.

During the last ten years, the Dirty Laundry Day Project has provided a voice for hundreds of people who have experienced domestic violence. It has also engaged local businesses; community organisations; education bodies; our local police and health services. It has been promoted in the media and it’s success has been mentioned in the NSW Parliament. We believe it has truly shone a light on a difficult topic.

The project aims to:

  • dirty laundry day shirts on the lineRaise awareness and challenge long held beliefs in our communities about domestic and family violence.
  • Be a visible call for cultural change.
  • Enable conversations to begin in our communities
  • Provide an opportunity to hear the voices of those in our communities who have experienced domestic and family violence
  • Encourage community support for the safety and well being of children and create more cohesive communities
  • Send a strong message to perpetrators – as an early intervention strategy – that violence will not be tolerated in our communities.
  • Connect service providers, people who have experienced domestic violence and the wider community allowing through networking and information sharing.
  • Be a cathartic and empowering process for people who have experienced domestic and family violence.

dirty laundry day tshirts
Where can I find it?

In 2019, The Dirty Laundry Day Project will take place all over the Northern Rivers in partnership with Summerland Credit Union, in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle and Forbes. If you would like to run The Dirty Laundry Day Project in your area, contact Amanda Shoebridge for more information.

Dirty Laundry Day at Summerland Credit Union

In 2019 Dirty Laundry Day Project will take place in partnership with Summerland Credit Union with displays in branches right across the Northern Rivers.

Click here to see the branches involved: https://summerland.com.au/find-us

In September 2019 Summerland Credit Union joined Social Futures in becoming an accredited workplace recognised for leading social change to prevent and respond to violence in our communities.

At Summerland we uphold good governance and role model the standards of decency, respect, and accountability.  As a financial institution, we provide ethical banking and take steps to prevent the financial abuse of vulnerable customers, including elder abuse, domestic violence and disability bias.  We promote equality across the board, regardless of gender or any other attribute – when people are represented equally, respect follows.  We welcome and celebrate diversity – our communities are richer when people are valued and free to be themselves.

Summerland are proud to be supporting Social Futures’ Dirty Laundry Day Project.  Visit one of the Summerland Credit Union branches to see the powerful displays of t-shirts with messages by people in our own communities who want their voice heard.

Dirty Laundry Day in Coffs Harbour

The Dirty Laundry Day Project will also be rolled out in Coffs Harbour in partnership with Warrina Domestic & Family Violence Specialist Services. The launch will be held in the Coffs Harbour CBD on the 22/11/2019 with Dr Angela Jay, an inspirational survivor / advocate as guest speaker.

A number of workshops will be held with women who have experienced violence, including Aboriginal community members, young people, people experiencing ongoing homelessness (sleeping rough) with a history of trauma and representatives from the CALD community. These workshops will run over the 16 Days of Activism and the T-shirts will be displayed in the CBD of Coffs Harbour.

The C.EX (Coffs Ex Services Club) has kindly provided support through the free lease of a shop they own in the CBD for the duration of the event. They will also support us through the display of messages against violence against over the 16 Days of Activism.

With thanks to Warrina Domestic & Family Violence Specialist Services; The C.EX (Coffs Ex Services Club); and Mid Coast Communities.

Dirty Laundry Day in Kyogle 

The Kyogle Domestic Violence Committee, in partnership with Ritchies IGA Kyogle will have a Dirty Laundry Day Project display in the main street of Kyogle.

You can view the display from Friday 8 November 2019 in the old Richies IGA site, 115 Summerland Way Kyogle.

click here to watch our clip: https://vimeo.com/374568509

Dirty Laundry Day in Forbes

Dirty Laundry Day will be rolled at the Forbes event on 25 November 2019. There will be stalls with activities at Lions Park in Forbes and a march will take place through the town beginning at Cross Street. Please gather at 10:10am to march from 10:30am toward Lions Park.

Social Futures Local Area Coordinator, Belinda, will be on hand at Lions Park with a Dirty Laundry Day Project where you can paint and display messages onto t-shirts.

With thanks to The Forbes Domestic and Family Violence Committee.

 

Dirty Laundry Day and the 16 days of Activism

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence ( Nov 25th until 10 December 2019) is the time we run The Dirty Laundry Day Project.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, up to 80% of women who have experienced intimate partner violence or sexual assault do not report it to the police. Participating locations hand Dirty Laundry Day t-shirts in their shop windows to raise awareness and start conversations about this challenging topic.

Watch videos of previous campaigns or click any thumbnail to see full size image

Thanks to our supporters and sponsors

The Dirty Laundry Day Project is grateful for the contributions and support of:

  • Casino Neighbourhood Centre
  • Jenny Dowell (OAM)
  • Lismore City Council
  • Lismore Domestic Violence Interagency
  • Men and Family Centre
  • Niki Gill – Founder of the Dirty Laundry Day Project
  • QBE Insurance Company
  • St Vincent De Paul Society
  • Women Up North

THANK-YOU all and the other staff, family and volunteers who make it possible.

 

Interactive map highlights extent of poverty across regional NSW

Interactive map highlights extent of poverty across regional NSW

Regional communities in NSW are doing it tougher than their city dwelling counterparts. That’s the message from new research mapping social and economic disadvantage across the state released by the New South Wales Council of Social Services (NCOSS) today, echoing Social Futures concerns for the rural and regional communities we support.

With 888,000 people living in poverty in NSW, no community is immune to hardship, but our rural and regional communities are doing it particularly tough explained Chief Executive of Social Futures, Tony Davies.

“While only 30 per cent of the population live outside the metro areas in NSW, our regional communities are home to more than half of the people living in poverty across the state.

“There is a myth that our regional coastal communities in particular are an oasis of paradise but low incomes and high unemployment rates, coupled with high rates of housing stress, mean that many of these communities have significantly higher rates of poverty than the rest of the state. In Nambucca Heads for example, almost 1 in 4 people are living below the poverty line.

“Most concerning, children are the most likely age group to be living in poverty  with one in six children live below the poverty line. In some parts of Northern NSW this figure is closer to one in four.

“With many communities facing the additional bite of the drought it has never been more important for government to take real action to address the inequality in regional communities.

“We urgently need the government to invest in social housing, early childhood education and to raise the Newstart Allowance in order to break the cycle of poverty,” he said.

This report provides a detailed picture of the extent of disadvantage across NSW with interactive maps allowing users to explore how poverty impacts people in their region.

View the interactive map and read the full Mapping Economic Disadvantage in New South Wales report.

Wording up for a wider world

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

 

The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and leaving her unable to read and write.

Now her NDIS-funded support worker, Debbie, is teaching Catherine a skill which is opening up her world and changing her life.

“I had to learn how to trust and everything with her (Debbie). She taught me how to read and write. I can read children’s books now. I can pretty much do what I’ve always wanted to do,” Catherine says.

She especially likes being able to write birthday cards to her daughter.

“I’m real happy with myself that I can actually do that!” she exclaims. “It’s helped us to have a better relationship, now we can read bedtime stories together. She asks for a bedtime story every night.”

Catherine has been supported through her NDIS journey by Orange-based Social Futures Local Area Coordinator, Frank Sheehan.

Prior to her NDIS funding Catherine struggled to get around. It wasn’t possible for her to understand bus timetables and not being able to read street or shop signs made the world a daunting place.

“Before the NDIS I struggled a lot with understanding and reading,” Catherine says. “I had to ask my mum for a lot of help with all that. I had to ask ‘mum, what does this mean? What does this say?’ I couldn’t do anything by myself. I feel more capable now.”

Being able to read signs as she goes past is life changing. “I now don’t have to ask people at the big stores, ‘what does that say?’ Because when I would ask them, they used to laugh at me. So that was sort of embarrassing. Now that I know what it says I don’t have to ask anymore.”

“It has helped me with just normal things in my daily life, like shopping. Debbie’s also teaching me how to shop and choose cheaper stuff. I used to get my dad to write down my shopping list and read it out when I went shopping. And now, I can write my own shopping list. I go through the catalogues, write it down, then I can go and do it. It makes me feel good. I feel proud of myself,” Catherine says.

Her increased confidence is also helping Catherine to connect with community: “Now I can go out in a crowd with Debbie. I’m not ready to go out on my own, but I feel pretty safe with Debbie. But on my own, I probably won’t feel safe. I’ll probably hide in a corner like I usually do.”

Catherine loves clothes shopping and especially loves her boots: “I have that many boots at home, half of them I haven’t worn! They’re all my favourite. Dad would get embarrassed ‘cause he had to walk into Crossroads clothes shop with me. Now I can go on my own.

“This year Debbie’s teaching me how to do maths and my timetables. She’s also helping me learn how to trust and communicate with other people better. The big problem at the moment is trust issues. I feel like if I could trust people more, I could go out into the community, I could probably be able to do other things. And reading and writing will be helping with my trust issues, because now I can communicate with people.

“It’s helped me out heaps, I’m really happy with the NDIS.”

Using her NDIS plan

Catherine’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • Learn how to read and write
  • Improve her family relationships
  • Feel more confident
  • Engage more with her local community
  • Work on her trust issues

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

Putting family life back in the picture

Many people who have family members with disabilities experience the sadness and frustration of being so busy in their support roles that they can’t enjoy the pleasures of family life. For them, the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be...

read more

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year. Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always...

read more

Everyone has ability. Everyone has a dream.

It has been just over a year since Ability Dreaming opened its doors and like any new business, there have been highs and lows according to Managing Director, Joel Everett. The first 12 months of any business is a notoriously difficult time for anyone, but adding a...

read more

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg. Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill...

read more

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).   The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and...

read more

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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

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