Almost $3000 Raised to Fight Animal Cruelty

Did you know that 30,000 dogs end up at an RSPCA shelter every year? That’s 82 dogs every single day. Many of these precious pups are victims of cruelty, bred to turn a profit, or abandoned by humans they loved unconditionally.

To help fight against this animal cruelty, Jean Jensen and Anne Blakeway, from Myhorizon’s Employment & Training team, recently took part in RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk, reaching their goals and walking over 40 hours combined with their pooches, Molly and Rosie.

With help from Myhorizon staff, they raised $2808 for this important cause. “We wanted to raise funds to support the RSPCA and ensure these dogs get the love and care they desperately need”. Said Jean.

“A big thank you to those who have donated and supported our efforts. Next year we plan to do a Team Event and raise even more money for such a great cause.”

Joe Gamblin, Myhorizon CEO, said he was immensely proud of the contribution staff have been able to make to this worthy cause. “Every year many Myhorizon staff participate, as well as a number of other community organisations, all raising valuable funds and volunteering their services without thanks or payment. Well done to all”.

KFC honours Jackie for 20 years of service

Jackie Wilbraham recently celebrated a milestone, reaching 20 years of employment at KFC Wynnum.

A long-time participant of Myhorizon’s Employment and Training service, Jackie first walked through our doors in 2003, seeking some guidance, support and structure around her job roles and routines.

With the support of our Employment Coordinators and Support Workers over the years, Jackie has achieved a stable and rewarding long-term job, thanks to the encouragement of her family and confidence inspired by KFC Management.

Sandra, Jackie’s Myhorizon Employment and Training Coordinator, is extremely proud of Jackie’s achievements,

“With such long-term job security Jackie and her husband were able to purchase a family home over ten years ago, and more recently sold up and purchased their forever dream home. It was one of the many great moments in Jackie’s life.” Said Sandra.

“KFC has been a source of well-being to Jackie over the years. With their support and understanding, Jackie has become their most valuable employee”. Said Sandra.

Jackie’s 20-year anniversary was recently recognised with a big celebration at the Wynnum store in her honour. Well done Jackie!

Click here to find our more about our Employment and Training Services.

Happy housemates

It’s not always easy finding a compatible person to share a home with, but for Ian Milne and Dwayne Evans, they’re now like two peas in their own ‘bachelor pod’!

Both Ian and Dwayne had previously transitioned to Supported Independent Living through Myhorizon’s Accommodation Services, and earlier this year had each been living on their own. The strong friendship they formed had them soon making joint plans for activities, visiting each other’s homes, and bonding over their love of the Broncos.

“It seemed like a natural next step in Ian’s and Dwayne’s friendship when they requested to share a house together”. Says Rod Kennedy, Director of Myhorizon’s Accommodation Services.

“We put a transition plan in place soon after which included sleepovers at Ian’s place with their support staff, while we consulted family members and conducted all the necessary checks with the NDIA.” Says Rod.

In April this year, Dwayne moved in to Ian’s Thornlands home and they haven’t looked back.

“It has been really great to see both Dwayne and Ian develop this strong bond, but also build their capacity and skills to communicate their choices and preferences for living together, and all the daily routines, tasks and interactions that come with that.” Says Rod.

To find out more about our Supported Independent Living and Accommodation Services, contact us today.

From surviving to thriving

For many, the pandemic has been a difficult time. But for Sarah, the last twelve months has been a positive turning point in her life, prioritising her wellbeing and landing a job with McKenzie Group Aged Care, where she’s now going from strength to strength.

Prior to Covid, Sarah’s outward disposition was her usual bright and cheerful self, but she also lived with extreme anxiety. Her fast talking and energetic bursts of chatter were also laced with frustration and tears.

As the primary carer of her young son with ADHD, Sarah was also busy completing her Certificate III in Aged Care, and soon after started looking for work, however her plate felt like it was overflowing.

“Although Sarah had the qualifications she needed to secure a job in aged care, after many meetings it was evident that Sarah wasn’t quite job ready”. Said Jodie McIntosh, Sarah’s Employment Coordinator at Myhorizon.

“Together we made a plan and Sarah took some time out to look after her physical and mental wellbeing, to put all her ‘ducks in a row’ and when she was ready, we would look for work.” Said Jodie.

Sarah took this time to focus on exercising, eating well, home schooling her son, and spending time with her mother and brother. After the second wave of COVID was over, aged care centres started to hire staff again, and Sarah felt ready to balance a new job with her other responsibilities.

“Sarah worked on getting prepared, going through possible interview questions and practicing being calm and focused. She landed an interview with McKenzie Group who offered her a casual position as a cleaner and laundry attendant, with a view to moving her into AIN work as she became more comfortable.” Said Jodie.

She went from strength to strength, building new friendships, undertaking weekly shifts and getting used to going to work. “Her job also helped her deal with situations at home because it made her feel empowered and gave her confidence.” Said Jodie.

Recently, Sarah has moved up to an AIN role with McKenzie Group and is revelling in her new found role and the freedom that her job has given her. When Jodie and Sarah meet up these days, Sarah looks healthy and happy, she smiles more easily and has renewed confidence.

“As her Employment Coordinator, I am so proud of how far she has come in twelve months. She did not give up, she prioritised her physical and mental health, and her family, and now she’s in a place where she’s happy and moving forward. She’s in charge of her future and she is proud of herself too.” Said Jodie.

Click here to find out more about our Employment and Training services.

Kerry’s green thumb

Avid gardener and Myhorizon participant Kerry Dodds, has been busy as a bee at our Alexandra Hills Lifestyle Centre, planting and harvesting a range of home-grown vegetables in the Sussex Street gardens.

The gardens were recently filled with good quality soil, where Kerry is now able to tend to her raddish, lettuce and bok choy, watering them daily and keeping the weeding under control.

Growing, picking and then selling these vegetables to the staff and to the Myhorizon Fruitbox initiative has given Kerry a sense of self-pride and independence, where she even purchases more seedlings for replanting.

What an empowering way for Kerry to give back to her community in her own way.

Click here to find out more about our Lifestyle services.

Debra finds her calling

Working in a job you love is most people’s dream, but for Myhorizon client, Debra McIntyre, it’s become a happy reality, now working as a Food Assistant with McKenzie Aged Care – Capella Bay, Capalaba.

Having had various roles throughout her working life to support her family, last year Debra approached Myhorizon’s Employment and Training team at Wynnum, looking for new work opportunities.

With the help of Jodie Dickason, her Employment Coordinator, Debra was soon after taking on short-term paid work as a kitchen hand, and also volunteer work at Meals on Wheels to develop her skills, experience and new found love of food preparation.

“I could tell that Debra had found her calling, and knew there was a bigger and better role out there for her, we just had to find it. After a few months we found her the perfect position at Capella Bay where she loves going to work and contributing in a warm and friendly environment,” says Jodie.

Life is full for Debra, a single mother of three children, grandmother to eight grandchildren and most recently becoming a great grandmother, who still finds time to fish and spend quality time with her large family, but most importantly she enjoys contributing to society.

“This job has given Debra the ability to fill her bucket with a sense of purpose and belonging,” says Jodie. “It’s a perfect example that age is just a number and if you’re open to trying new things, who knows what doors may open for you”.

Thanks to this new role, Debra continues to flourish and has even planned a holiday to Sydney with her son to catch up with friends, something she has wanted to do for a long time.

Click here to find out  more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Service.

A message from Joe – Winter 2020

Six months ago, we could not have predicted the immense impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on our lives. We are all seeing the devastating effects overseas, while here in Queensland, and all around Australia, we have been extremely fortunate in comparison.

Myhorizon as an essential service has continued to operate during the COVID lock down period but did need to vary its service delivery with the closure of all group programs. These were quickly replaced with 1:1 support activities with many Participants taking up the opportunity to try a new type of service delivery.

Moving to 1:1 support provided safer activities for Participants, providing more choice and control. Participants experienced a greater range of activities and even with social distancing were still able to meet up occasionally with their friends.

Myhorizon as a team and as a service provider, has responded quickly to the spread of the virus and to the concerns of Participants who rely on us and trust us to deliver services in a safe manner. Over the last few months, we’ve made sure that infection control, and social distancing where possible have been prioritised and put in place across all service activities.

Before and during COVID, the NDIS has continued to change and evolve with far greater flexibility around how Participants use their plan funding than we have ever seen before. One of the big changes is that Participants can now use their Core Funds to access Support Coordination, which can be an invaluable service for Participants to get the most out of their Plan. We currently have a few remaining places to provide support coordination so make sure you contact our team to see how this can benefit you.

Other changes include the ability to use Core funds to pay for activity-based transport costs, which in the past has been a large financial burden for many. Participants can also ask for their Plan to be rolled over rather than going through a full review process. Hopefully with some of these changes we will see Plan utilisation increase so that Participants can get the full benefits of their Plan.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our community, I want to assure all our clients and Participants that the team here at Myhorizon always remain with you, for you.

Joe Gamblin

A great first day on the job

We all know how scary it can be to start a new job, but for one of our newest recruits, it’s been a wonderful first day in his new role as a Disability Support Professional at Myhorizon.

Estaban, a trainee of our Certificate III Course in Individual Support, has started supporting participants at Myhorizon’s Alexandra Hills Lifestyle Centre, and loving every minute!

On his first day during a birthday celebration at the Centre, a participant came running through the front door very excited, asking everyone to look in her white bucket after returning from a day out fishing with her Support Worker. Low and behold, in the bucket were two decent sized fish – a nice flathead and a bream. It turns out she didn’t actually catch these fish herself, however after catching and throwing back a few small ones, a nearby fisherman kindly gave her his fish as he left.

It was a highlight for everyone involved and when asked if anyone knew how to gut, scale and fillet the fish, Esteban, one of the new support workers hired from the course, just rolled up his sleeves and got the job done.

To find out more about how to become a qualified Disability Support Worker, contact our Employment and Training Team

Reconnecting our Wynnum community as restrictions ease

With COVID restrictions slowly easing, participants of Myhorizon’s Wynnum Lifestyle Centre couldn’t wait see their mates again, and a recent BBQ with the neighbouring Men’s Shed crew was the perfect opportunity!

There was definitely a sense of excitement in the air as the staff and participants set up seating and games out on the lawn, as well as prepared food and set up equipment for the BBQ. Myhorizon Disability Support Worker, Valda Moore said it was great to feel the buzz amongst all the participants and the staff after a while of not seeing each other.

“Everyone was so happy and friendly. It was lovely to see all the interaction again, and everyone was pitching in to help which was great. The blokes from The Men’s Shed also had a great time and even said ‘give us a yell when you want to do this again’, which was nice”. Said Valda.

General Manager of Myhorizon’s Lifestyle Service, Janine Lillico has seen first-hand the benefit the participants get when they connect with the local community.

“By connecting with their neighbours such as the Men’s Shed, our participants feel a sense of belonging with the community.

“These connections provide opportunities for participants to have relationships with others besides their families and support workers and can also broaden their informal support network” said Janine.

Find out more about Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service.

Jasmine & Peter honour ANZAC day from home

Being in isolation hasn’t stopped Myhorizon participants from keeping  busy and productive from home. To commemorate Anzac Day, Peter and Jasmine from Loganholme both spent weeks creating poppy wreaths with the assistance of their Myhorizon Support Workers.

The red poppy wreaths have always been symbolic of ANZAC Day and remembering those who have served and sacrificed.

“Making a wreath was Peter and Jasmine’s own way of commemorating, and they both were really eager to bake Anzac biscuits as well.” Said Cheyanne, one of Peter and Jasmine’s Myhorizon Support Workers.

General Manager of Myhorizon’s Supported Independent Living Service, Janine Lillico, acknowledges how important it is for people with disability to feel connected and continue participating in activities right now.

“Many of our participants are used to socialising and getting out of the house so it’s definitely been a challenging time for many. However, it’s been wonderful to see how our staff and clients are making the most of support in the home.” Said Janine.

“Anzac Day has been a great example of how many people are still finding ways to pay their tributes from home this year, whether it be through making and displaying wreaths or showing support by standing on their driveways at dawn. We really do have an amazing community despite these challenging times” Said Janine.