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Creative entrepreneur Willow is smashing her goals

19-year-old Willow has been a client of Australian Inclusion Network for about a year now, engaging us for three days a week with her Support Worker supporting her goals of becoming job ready, growing her bath bomb business, developing confidence in the kitchen and being active in the community.

Not only is Willow an entrepreneur with her own creative bath bombs and paintings for sale, but is also becoming quite the ace in the kitchen. To help Willow achieve more skills and confidence in the kitchen, her Support Worker is supporting her to try new methods of cooking and recipes.

When she is not baking up a storm, her Support Worker supports her in becoming more engaged and socially connected to her local community. This can be through a range of supported activities such as mini golf, visiting the local shopping centre, checking out a new art exhibition or visiting the Zoo. Not only do these activities provide a great day out, but they also enable Willow to be more involved and relaxed in the community – not to mention ignite new interests and passions. Planning the day itself also provides opportunities to develop skills including managing time, sorting the day’s schedule, and navigating the use of public transport.

“I enjoy spending meaningful time with my Support Worker doing things that interest me, or new things that I have never tried before.” – Willow shared.

She has been supported to start her own online business where she sells her creative creations including bath bombs and artwork through her Facebook page – ‘Bibbidy Bop’.

“I recently had a table at a market and was able to sell my bath bombs. This was a great experience that not only generated my own income, but also allowed me to connect with other people. I loved when people were interested in my products and wanted to know more about them.”

The support we deliver for Willow is flexible and changes as needed to suit her needs whilst working to ensure her goals are met. Sometimes this might mean that hours of support are altered so she and her Support Worker can attend an upcoming art event or hold a stand at her local market selling her bath bombs.

Willow is working towards finding meaningful open employment in her local area and would love to find a role that aligns with her passions. Naturally, this lead her to the local Lush store where not only has she been discussing her employment goals with the team, but also managed to get some ideas around ways to make her bath bombs foam up more. The process of applying and accepting feedback has also been a part of her open employment journey.

“A highlight would be that I am given the opportunity to be included in the community, try new things and interact with people in fun and exciting ways.”

Working with her Support Worker Izzy, Willow has developed a greater structure in tasks and activities, is more engaged in the community and is always encouraged to give things a go. Her confidence has grown and is also now more able to decide on the activities they do together out in the community.

 


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Rochelle

An adaptive and collaborative approach allows us to continue to be helpful in someone’s life 

Rochelle is a caring and resilient young lady who loves having fun and being active in her local community. She is interested in art, yoga, cooking, go karting, and all things Disney. Rochelle also has a large support network around her including her loving family, Support Worker team and her health and medical supports. We work collaboratively with Rochelleher family, and her other support providers to ensure that Rochelle is able to experience as much independence in her life while she is out of the hospital as she has had medical complexities since birth.

Rochelle’s goal was to set up and run her own online business venture. Her Support Worker supported her to achieve this. But in 2019, Rochelle had to spend the whole year in hospital. Rochelle developed additional medical needs that the Support Workers required to be trained in so that they could safely work alongside her. This adaptive approach allowed Rochelle to still keep the same Support Workers she loves to work with and keep perusing her goals. While in hospital, her Support Workers supported her in pursuing her art projects and running her online business.

Rochelle is passionate about coffee and coffee-making. Her next goal is to enroll in a barista course to perfect her coffee-making skills. She wants to use the skills she gains from this course to volunteer in her local café to get hands-on experience and to build her confidenceUltimately, she wants to convert an old caravan with her dad into a coffee van and run her own business. She wants to travel around and serve coffee to her local community.

Steve

Focusing on skill development creates highly trusted and valued co-worker

We had previously worked with Steve to help him use his unpaid work experience placement into paid employment in a department store. When he first started working with his Support Worker, Jack, he was being supported by a Disability Employment Service (DES) Provider. Jack was able to connect and work together with Steve’s DES consultant.

Steve’s Support Worker worked with him to develop his skills so that he is able to get better job opportunities while his Disability Employment Service consultant worked with Steve’s employer to track Steve’s progress. This collaborative team approach helped Steve secure paid employment. When the department store management was hiring for new employees, Steve was able to put his name forward for the role because Steve’s skills had developed a lot by then. As Steve was well-liked and respected, there were two departments competing for him to fill a role.

Steve has become a highly valued and trusted team member within the department store. He is now able to live a fulfilling and full life.

Names have been changed due to privacy reasons

Dave

Working as a team and creatively = great results

Dave loves to live his life on the edge. He loves scuba diving, off-road biking, and paintballing. He is also a volunteer firefighter. He became interested in applying for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award after talking to someone who was an earlier Gold Award Participant.

Working with his Support Worker, John, Dave was able to explore the possibility of applying for the Duke of Edinburgh Award and why it was important to him. His main goal was to use the Gold Award from the Duke of Edinburgh to help him get employment and career opportunities. He didn’t have a Tertiary Qualification and this was another avenue to stand out and show what he can do to potential employers.

The Duke of Edinburgh required a lengthy process of application. Dave and John worked together as a team to be able to document all the activities that Dave is involved in. They found a creative way to enable Dave to record all the evidence required for the application process. By using Dave’s Voce-to-Text function, he was able to independently record proof of the activities he was involved in. He also took photos of the activities he was part of.

Thanks to the creative way John worked with Dave to help him with the administration side he was able to receive the Bronze Award, Silver Award, and Gold Award. Through the Duke of Edinburgh, Dave was able to find part-time work with a coffee shop where he volunteered during his application for the Gold Award. After receiving the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, he was encouraged to pursue a career in the Police or Defence Force.

Names have been changed due to privacy reasons

Peter

Working with other professional supports to achieve goals

We met Peter when he was in his late 40’s. He has an active social life where he regularly spends time with his family, but he found it difficult to meet new people outside of his family social circle. He asked his Support Worker, Simon, for support in meeting new people and expressed that he really wanted to find a woman who may be interested in being in a romantic relationship with him.

Peter had never had the opportunity to receive a comprehensive sexuality and relationships education. Simon was able to identify that Peter would like to gain a better understanding of social norms as this was a barrier to him forming successful relationships with others.

Peter’s goal was important to him, so we provided him with support that gave him the tools to be able to explore his goal of meeting new people and finding a romantic relationship. Through our Positive Relationship Service, we provided training and one-on-one sexuality and relationships education to Peter. His Support Worker would then work with Peter so he could practice these newly learned skills in social settings. Our Positive Relationships staff member also helped Peter to access support outside of our services in the form of specialist sexuality and education counselling services. We were then able to work collaboratively with the counselling provider appointed to Peter to ensure a complete delivery of support. This helped Peter get the best support possible to achieve his goal.

With his new skills and newly found confidence, Peter has started exploring singles groups in his local area. He has also recently joined an online dating platform where he hopes to meet someone new. Peter has a great personality and a lot to bring into relationships with others, and now has the practical skills and tools to be able to connect with someone new.

Names have been changed due to privacy reasons

Brenton

Building confidence and connecting with others

Brenton is a kind, gentle, and extremely thoughtful young man. But he was not happy with himself. He tended to be shy, reserved, and nervous around others. Working with his Support Worker, Peter, he wanted to get connected with his community.

Peter and Brenton worked together for two and a half years to achieve Brenton’s big-picture goal by supporting him so he could learn how to use public transportation independently to make connections within his community. Through the support of his Support Worker, he was able to develop his confidence in interacting with other people in the community along the way. He found independence and self-reliance.

After being mentored, he was able to join various community activities. He became a valued member of his local bowling club where he is about to begin his second season of community bowls and is now able to go to the club without support this season. He was also able to go on his first short cruise and he now loves attending rugby and AFL matches.

Brenton has been able to become a more confident young man. He loves being in his community now and is a very integral part of it. He even volunteers his time by lending a hand at the weekly working bee within his local bowling club. He is now able to live a fuller more meaningful life because he was able to achieve the goal that he set.

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