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The Lockdown Challenges bring joy in difficult times

collage of people doing different activitiesAs the Greater Sydney area moved into the third week of lockdown of 2021, the Accommodation Services Team in the Illawarra decided something needed to be done, as we could see that both residents and staff were starting to feel stuck and isolated in their homes and missing their families, friends and their normal routine. So we hatched a plan: a great circuit breaker to keep everyone busy and having fun. The Disability Trust houses across the region would be given weekly challenges to complete.

The program has proved to be a phenomenal success and continues to provide a ray of sunshine through an otherwise mediocre time. We have:

  • Danced our hearts out
  • Dressed up as our heroes (and thanked our unsung heroes too)
  • Enjoyed a tasty and inventive bake off
  • Competed in the Olympics and won medals
  • Been away on (virtual) holidays
  • Made fools of ourselves in a lip sync challenge
  • Immersed ourselves in Game Show glory
  • Sprung into Spring
  • Been entranced by Magic Shows
  • Delighted in the resident's crafty creations.
As to the competition, Senior Manager Bronwyn Thomas said, “Southern Operations General Manager Carol Berry, Chief Operating Officer Ed Birt, and myself have been getting together every Friday afternoon to judge the entries. The points awarded are based on the emotion that the entry evokes and the effort that the teams have gone to in order to complete the challenge. The entries often have us in tears. But the scores don’t matter. They are genuinely all winners in our eyes and we don’t even know what the prize is!

“All of the entries are testament to the resilience and fortitude of our residents and the commitment and creativity of our teams. It was particularly pleasing to see how each team worked hard to include all of the residents in the challenges and made adjustments to ensure everyone’s talent had a chance to shine. This is what we love to do, ensuring that our residents have fulfilled and rewarding lives.”



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