With the right supports, OPTIONS ensures that everyone can work in, and contribute to, a diverse community doing all kinds of rewarding activities.
While many people take for granted accessing and working in community, for people with a disability, being able to contribute, work and access services can sometimes be difficult. At OPTIONS, we constantly look for opportunities to contribute to and partner with other organisations, enabling participants to learn new skills and improve communication.
Key Worker Dave proudly tells how one of his photography students has made the finals in the local council photography exhibition. After months of guidance, learning how to set up a tripod and using various functions on the camera, a super impressive photo of a moody seascape was chosen for entry. Student Jordan will now attend an opening night celebration, have his artwork displayed and has a chance of winning the prize money.
Obviously the prize money is not the focus though, the real achievement is the opportunity to take part in a community event, to shine amongst his peers and have recognition from his contemporaries.
Likewise the catering crew, who create delicious savouries and cakes for corporate functions and events, continue to develop cooking, presentation and communication skills through community contribution.
Recently holding a cake stall for the Cancer Council’s ‘Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea’, they served beautifully decorated cakes to the public in a busy shopping centre. The ability to raise money for a local charity gave everyone involved a sense of pride in contributing, while the interaction required with strangers was a practical way to improve communication. This organizational partnership provides ongoing opportunities for groups and individuals to be included in helping the community and gaining valuable experiences as they do.
There are so many ways to connect with and contribute to the community with support from OPTIONS. Currently there are volunteer groups working: at Aged Care facilities – in laundry, entertainment and maintenance; at the local pound – walking dogs; for Meals on Wheels – delivering meals and communicating with clients; at a Preschool – learning work skills; in a lawn mowing crew – providing a reliable and affordable garden service; at a local farm supply shop – caring for animals; and more.
These various individual and group contributions are diversity and inclusion in action and provide a genuine connection to community with huge benefits for everyone involved.
If you would like to partner with us at OPTIONS, and explore how we can contribute to your organisation or event please call (02) 4340 5155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Read more of our inspiring stories at our Facebook page.
Photo credit: Wendy Smith