John Paul and James are participants of the NDIS – the National Disability Insurance Scheme. They had never met before and although both were a little nervous at meeting each other and new people, it turned out to be the start of an amazing adventure!
I knew John Paul and his family and suggested he might like to volunteer at The Organic Farm at Ivorys Rock. I had also contacted Ellie Jane who runs a local Support Services organisation. I offered to take her on a tour of Ivory’s Rock to see the stunning scenery and facilities, with a view to offer her clients short-term accommodation and respite.
Well, on the said day, we were only expecting John Paul and his support worker Brian, but Ellie Jane had other ideas! She brought with her James and his support worker Sammie.
We toured the site together and ventured throughout all the accommodation including the rooms at the back of the Amphitheatre. The two downstairs bedrooms are suitable for physically disabled people, with wheelchair access to the bedrooms and the spacious ensuite bathrooms with large showers. There is also access to a kitchenette and lounge area. Some refurbishment work needs to be undertaken before these rooms can be made available.
Once we were outside again, James eagerly went through the side gate into the front of stage. Here he stood, very excited, nearly jumping for joy! ‘Something very special happens here!’ he said.
Farm manager Anita Greenwood has since suggested James would be better suited to a different role and placed him with Electrician Glen Peron, who is now instructing James in ‘test tagging’ electrical equipment (with his support worker Brian)
Another ‘match made in heaven’! Glen told James that he can get a Certificate, leading on to employment opportunities, which has delighted the young man.
“Currently, James is rocking it at his volunteer placement in Ivory's Rock, mastering the art of test tagging. James says the best thing about volunteering is being able to get out of the house and make a difference. He’s had blast meeting new people and learning new skills.” Ellie Jane, Support Services.