Vadim is job ready

For people with disabilities, the move from school to employment can sometimes be a challenging transition.

Which is why programs like the School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) program can be life changing for NDIS Participants like Vadim Ovchinnikov, supporting him to gain the skills and confidence to navigate his employment options and gain meaningful employment.

Vadim, now 20 years old, originally came to Myhorizon’s Specialised Training service in March 2021 looking for employment opportunities, having had no previous employment skills or history, limited workplace communication and literacy skills, and little understanding of social protocols.

Through the SLES program and with the help of his Myhorizon Employment Support Worker Aaron, Vadim was able to overcome these barriers, identify his career goals and learn essential job skills such as resume preparation, interview skills, independent travel, teamwork, time management and many more.

Vadim then gained work experience where he was able to implement some of these newfound skills in a real work setting, and also discover what areas of work he liked, all before landing a paid job he now enjoys at McDonalds, Birkdale.

“I like serving the drinks and talking to the customers. I also get to meet new people and the job gives me my own money.” Said Vadim.

Employment and Training Assistant Manager, Nikki Louange is part of a passionate team at Myhorizon who support Participants through this process,

“It’s about helping Participants build their skills, their ability and their confidence to enter the workforce and achieve their employment goals. It’s through this intensive 1:1 job support where we see many success stories”, Said Nikki.

“In Vadim’s case, we helped him to successfully gain an interview and secure employment with McDonalds which included supporting him at the interview, assisting him with understanding their rostering program and looking at transport options so he could get to and from work safely”.

For more information on SLES and our Employment and Training service, contact us today.

$1000 raised for mental health

Did you know that 20% of Australians experience a mental illness?
That’s 1 in 5 of us, for ducks sake!

During Mental Health Month in October this year, the Waves of Wellness (WOW) Ducktober’ Challenge saw hundreds of people immerse themselves in cold water to raise over $140,000 in funds for WOW’s Mental Health surf therapy programs, supporting those in our community who are struggling the most.

Myhorizon’s Employment and Training team, work alongside people in our own communities living with mental illness, so they jumped at the chance to help out and raise funds for this important cause. They were up for the challenge, taking 31 days of cold showers to raise $1000! Thank you to everyone who donated!

Want to get your ducks in a row for the next cold water challenge in October 2022? Simply send an email to ducktober@foundationwow.org to register your interest.

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.

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.

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.

Government Secretaries visit Myhorizon

What a pleasure it was to host a number of departmental secretaries, who requested a visit this week to Myhorizon’s Main Centre at Capalaba.

We were humbled to be able to take them through some of our wonderful facilities, such as our Cafe, Event Centre, and Packaging Room showcasing the hard work our supported employees do each day.

It was also a great opportunity to discuss NDIS related opportunities and challenges with Kathryn Campbell (the Secretary of the Department of Social Services), Renee Leon (Secretary of Department of Human Services), Kerri Hartland (Secretary of Department of Jobs and Small Business), and also visiting members of the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development.

The secretaries came together as part of the regular bilateral Australia-New Zealand Chief Executive Meeting (ANZCEM) this week.

 

 

Olivia on the path to greater independence

Gaining employment has been an empowering experience for local Cleveland resident, Olivia O’Donnell, who hasn’t let her intellectual disability stand in her way.

Thanks to flexible employers like Phaedra White who owns and runs Enhancers of Cleveland Hair Salon, 18 year old Olivia works regular weekly shifts where she helps keep the salon tidy and prepares some of the equipment needed by the stylists.

Since starting at the salon six weeks ago, Olivia now walks to work where she earns her own pay cheque each week, and is on the path to greater independence.

“I like working at the salon because I get to earn my own money and I can go to the shops and buy my own food or beanie boos’” says Olivia.

Olivia’s employer, Phaedra, initially approached Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Office in Cleveland, seeking someone to support her in her salon a few hours per week, and Olivia was quickly matched up as a perfect candidate.

“Olivia is very polite, friendly and caring, and we all love having her around” Says Phaedra. “I’ve also noticed positive changes in her confidence level, and her knowledge and skillset around the salon are also improving”.

Prue Saint, Olivia’s Employment Coordinator from Myhorizon Cleveland, has also seen a significant and positive difference in Olivia since starting her job at the salon.

“Olivia is becoming more confident with leaving home by herself now, and also improving in her communication with other people and being able to follow a list of jobs to be done. All those things are getting better each day.” Says Prue.

“It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Prue.

As a local Redlands business owner, Phaedra also advocates for more local businesses to open their doors and minds to employing individuals with a disability.

“It has been so rewarding and fulfilling to have Olivia join our team, and we really appreciate her different perspective on things.” Says Phaedra. “I urge more businesses to consider employing someone with a disability as it’s a great contribution to the community as well”.

Click here for more information on Myhorizon’s Employment and Training services or connect with us via our online Contact Form.

Paul retires after 35 years with Myhorizon

After thirty-five years with local disability services provider, Myhorizon, Paul Ballard is officially retiring, and is excited about taking time out to enjoy the things he loves.

 

Paul joined Myhorizon as a service user back in 1984 when it went by the name of H.A.R.D and provided an activity therapy centre in Capalaba for local residents with disability.

 

“I remember back in the mid 1980’s when Myhorizon grew to include more service areas like Independent Living and Social Enterprises, which opened up supported employment opportunities for me.” Says Paul.

 

Paul talks fondly about his accomplishments within Myhorizon’s previous ‘Wire and Wood’ enterprise, where he contributed to product design, and was also the Social club’s Treasurer for a period of time.

 

Paul’s career at the organisation has more recently also included working for The Bush Pantry Café, The Event Centre at Myhorizon, as well as Myhorizon’s packaging and collating service.

 

“I’ve learnt lots of new skills over the years at Myhorizon, but I’ve also made many great friends who I’ll miss dearly. The people I’ve worked with are like a family, but I won’t be out of touch because I’ll still see them at Rec Club and Sunday bowling and some of my friends on the weekend. I’ve even agreed to help organise the Secret Santa like I have past couple of years.” Says Paul.

 

Paul says he has enjoyed his work life, but he is also very excited about now catching up on his TV and video games, and going for more walks and exercising at the gym.

 

Current Production Supervisor at Myhorizon, Troy Morton who has worked with Paul since early 2018 and supervised his daily work, describes Paul as a capable and helpful member of the team.

 

“Paul would often help others when he could, and he also had some great nicknames for members of the team such as ‘Happy Helen’, ‘Cheryl from the Navy’, and ‘Super Kev’. We will all miss his unique energy, but wish him all the best in his retirement.” Says Troy.

 

 

Learning real skills for the disability sector

Stradbroke Island resident Hayley Layton is beginning her rewarding career in the disability sector, thanks to government funding preparing jobseekers with the right skills and experience for the NDIS workforce. 

Myhorizon, are addressing the need for more skilled disability support workers in South East Qld by running regular Training courses for Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) at our Capalaba Event Centre.

As a current Myhorizon student, about to graduate and obtain her Cert III, Hayley is excited about starting her new career and getting to work with people from all walks of life.

“I was a little hesitant to sign up for the course because I’d never worked in the disability sector before, but because I’m passionate about people, it made me want to do it.” Said Hayley.

Hayley is a Florist by trade and also previously worked as a resort housekeeper supervisor on Stradbroke Island for many years, but after a workplace accident, she battled a period of unemployment and depression more recently.

After meeting Anne Blakeway who manages Myhorizon’s Dunwich office, Hayley was encouraged to apply for the course and hasn’t looked back.

“I told Anne what my interests and passions were and how I’d previously worked with the indigenous communities on the Island, and she helped me realise my love and passion for all people and how working in disability would be a great fit for me.

“My training course leaders have been so great and supportive, and I’ve learnt so many new and real skills. I’ve loved every minute of it and can’t wait to start working in the sector.” Said Hayley.

Myhorizon Training Manager Nikki Louange has supported dozens of students, having run the Certificate III course in Individual Support (Disability) for several years now thanks to ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work’ (SQW) funding, granted by the Queensland State Government.

“Our course is designed for participants who have had barriers with finding employment due to a disability, illness or injury. Over the years we’ve had many individuals complete the course and find meaningful jobs in the disability sector which has been life changing and so rewarding for them.

“Quite a few graduates have even gained employment within Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service area as Disability Support Professionals” Says Nikki.

Visit our Employment & Training page for more information, or contact us via our Online Contact Form.

Access Ability Day

During the week of 26 – 30 November 2018, employers are encouraged to take part in Access Ability Day – a new Australian Government initiative developed to connect jobseekers with disability and employers.

There are 2.2 million Australians living with disability who are of working age, but Australians with disability are under-represented in the workforce. In fact, the employment rate for people with disability is almost half compared to those without disability.

Businesses in the local community have an opportunity to open their door to a new pool of talented and capable individuals, who are ready and willing to work.

“With International Disability Day coming up in a few weeks, this is a great way to recognise and support individuals with a disability, and provide more job opportunities for them in our community”. Says Myhorizon’s Employment & Training Assistant Manager, Lima Nawabi.

“So many of our clients are really eager to have a job, and really hard-working. As part of Access Ability Day, employers can host a job seeker with disability for one day, with no further obligation and help promote a more inclusive workplace” says Lima.

To register your interest as an Employer or as a Jobseeker, phone Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Service (a Disability Employment Service Provider) on 1300 MYHORIZON or contact us using our online form.

To find out more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Service, click here.