The Disability Trust has had a busy start to the year officially opening two new facilities, in North Wollongong and Mittagong. Peg Ludwig, Senior Manager, Southern Highlands and Goulburn was thrilled, saying that “4 Albert Street Mittagong is such a really great space for staff and clients. Hearing lots of laughter and music making coming from the Club Trust room is a constant reminder of the people who are at the core of what we do.” Carol Berry, from the NDIA, officially opened the premises which is now home to Club Trust Day Options, Support Coordination, Workskills and the regional office. “This space will enable us to introduce new programs including a Saturday Kids Club with a soft play area, virtual reality sensory room and a gardening program” Peg commented.
The opening included poetry and musical performance, speeches from clients, including Rachael who shared her story back from adversity “I'm so grateful for all the support and help that was and still is provided by these wonderful people here at Workskills. After 9 years of ticking boxes with nothing to show for it, I can’t believe what I’ve achieved in 1 year at Workskills with proper guidance and support. I'm now completing my high school certificate through the TAFE and it's thanks to Workskills, you guys taught me to believe in myself!”
Down at 21 Ralph Black Drive, North Wollongong, the new centre is home to a number of school leaver programs, including Club Trust Day Options, School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES), as well as numerous social and community programs operated by The Disability Trust. Cunningham MP Sharon Bird officially opened the centre which is now home to the Illawarra’ s first Virtual Reality sensory room for people with a disability. Evenness by Devika is the latest virtual reality hardware and sensory room software giving users with a disability a full virtual sensory experience without the need to purchase physical and traditional sensory room equipment. The purchase of the hardware was made possible thanks to a $10,000 grant by the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme.
The centre is helping to boost the confidence and capacity of young people with different abilities with the SLES particularly focusing on those who aspire to find paid work in open employment. Local mum Jodie spoke passionately about her daughter’s experience at SLES “I’m so excited to see Izzy’s achievements over the past year; we are very proud of her. I know that Izzy’s supporters here at The Trust had her best interests at heart from the moment we walked into the building for the first time. This program has been such a blessing to us and most importantly has met the individual needs of Isabella. I have seen her take on Individual goals that she was given, after asking her what she wanted to achieve, and one by one we are seeing these goals met. Thank you to for providing this facility to help our beautiful daughter shine and achieve her goals and we are look forward to seeing her being able to participate and be able to contribute in society.”