Joseph’s birthday in November last year was a double celebration – turning 40, and spending his first year as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.
He marked the occasion with a concert in front of 80 invited guests, singing covers of his favourite songs with his sister Lara.
“People loved it, in fact we all loved it,” his mum Robyn says. “It was wonderful to see all of his self-confidence shining through, and just knowing that he now has the support to keep exploring his potential and growing as a person.”
Joseph has Down Syndrome and, despite living independently for the past 12 years, until he received his first NDIS plan he had never been anywhere on his own away from his family in Mudgee.
First trip away
“NDIS support allowed him to go away on a camping trip to Bowral for two weeks last year,” Robyn says. “It was such a big thing for him, giving him the opportunity to boost his wellbeing and engage with people and activities outside his familiar home environment.
“He came home just beaming.”
Joseph and his family were supported through the planning process by Bathurst-based Social Futures Local Area Coordinator Jodie. The family opted to manage Joseph’s plan on his behalf, and they have used the opportunity to employ support workers who know him and know what he likes doing.
“They’re much more attentive to what he wants to do in his life and they’re consistent in what they do,” Robyn says. “It’s a lot more personalised.
“They provide in-home support three afternoons a week, helping Joseph with meal preparation and making sure all his washing and cleaning gets done.
“Outside the home they take him swimming (which he loves), to gym training and out to afternoon teas with his friends.”
Work and play
Joseph also works four days a week at the Mudgee Shire Council’s recycling centre and one day a week doing coffee deliveries around town for a local café.
His active work and social life meant that even after he moved out of home his family had to do a lot of the drop-offs and pick-ups.
“We live on a property out of town and we both work, so to run backwards and forwards into Mudgee was always a bit of a drain,” Robyn says.
“Now it all gets sorted by the support workers. Joseph is so busy that we have to make appointments to see him!”
If there is one thing his family would like for Joseph, it would be for him to meet someone he could have a long-term relationship with.
“He’s very happy with where he is right now but it would be great if one day he finds someone he can share his life with,” Robyn says.
“Joseph is so busy now that we have to make appointments to see him!” (Robyn, Joseph’s mum)
Joseph’s NDIS supports have helped him:
- Improve his self-confidence
- Boost his independence
- Engage more in the community
- Rely less on his family
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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