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
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.
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.
With the NDIS well and truly now rolling out across the Redlands, Logan, Brisbane and Gold Coast regions, it’s wonderful to see participants and their families receiving additional funding for much needed extra supports.
Helen and her son Matthew from the Gold Coast, have been with Myhorizon for over five years now. Matthew participates in the activities run by the Lifestyle team at our Ashmore Centre, and loves going out with the other participants and the Myhorizon team, whether it be to the local Tenpin Bowling Centre, or fishing on the Broadwater.
Matthew has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal but communicates with his eyes and hands. He is like most 23 year olds with a great love of watching sports and going out to meet people.
With Matthew’s extra funding in his NDIS package, Matthew’s mum Helen, can now extend the hours of support that Matthew receives.
“We are really happy with Matthew’s NDIS package because we were running out of funds previously, and had to cut back on some services as we didn’t have the money to pay for it.
“Now with the extra funds under the NDIS, it means Matthew can receive an extra day of support and participate in more activities and enjoy the things he loves to do”, says Helen.
If you would like more information on NDIS, or our range of disability services, send us an enquiry using our Contact Form.
Myhorizon officially opened their refurbished Lifestyle Centre on Adam street, Wynnum on Wednesday 21 November 2018, with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk performing the cutting of the ribbon and declaring the Centre Open.
The Opening event was a celebration of a community vision to provide an upgraded space for individuals with disability in the Wynnum Manly region.
The event was also attended by Councilor Peter Cumming, members of Wynnum, Manly & Districts Men’s Shed, Darling Point Special School, and many other local supporters of the Centre.
Executive Manager of Myhorizon’s Lifestyle division, Rod Kennedy, thanked those in the community that supported and contributed to the refurbishment project including Brisbane City Council.
“We were so pleased to be able to renovate this facility using funds generously provided by Brisbane City Council, allowing us to provide a fresher, safer and more inclusive space for our participants who access our services through their NDIS funding”. Said Rod.
“This building is not just a collection of walls and windows, but a place for individuals to participate in programs and activities that develop their skills, a place that gives them more opportunities to be empowered, and also a place they can socialise with peers.”
Some may remember the historic site as the old Wynnum Manly Leagues Bowls Club. The facility has since been converted and renovated into a positive space now visited by many individuals with disability who participate in Myhorizon’s day services.
“This is a place where our participants and their families can be a part of a connected community, one where everyone is accepted, valued and respected”, said Rod.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk also spoke to the values shared between Myhorizon and Brisbane City Council and the importance of such projects in the local community.
“It’s wonderful that Myhorizon are providing an opportunity for everybody in the Wynnum and district area to be more engaged in the community. We want to make sure that everybody can live their lives to the fullest, and facilities like this one are providing that opportunity”, said Lord Mayor Quirk.
Myhorizon employs over 200 passionate staff members across 11 different centres (located from Wynnum through to Tweed Heads) who actively work with over 2000 people with disability, from the earliest stages of life through to adulthood.
For more information, send us an enquiry using our Contact Form.
Hayley Hansen is an easy going, fun loving 28-year old. Hayley loves to go shopping, take her puppy out for walks and do what most other young women enjoy doing.
As a Myhorizon participant since 2008, Hayley is like many other participants right now, waiting for her NDIS Plan to be approved so she can continue to do the things she loves, but also have the opportunity to choose the supports she needs, when and where she needs them.
When speaking to Hayley’s mother Shan, it’s clear that Shan only wants the best for her daughter, and as a full-time working parent, Shan appreciates the one-one-one support that Myhorizon are able to provide to Hayley currently. Shan’s biggest goal is for Hayley to one day live independently.
“We are getting older as parents so it’s important that Hayley gets the supports she needs to become more independent, and one day live on her own.” Said Shan
Shan says that Hayley’s journey with the NDIS has so far been a very positive one. After having her Planning meeting date confirmed, Myhorizon were able to dedicate the time with Hayley and Shan to complete all their necessary paperwork, ensure all their required information was gathered, and best prepare them for a successful meeting.
“Joe T. from Myhorizon came out to see us and was here for about 3 hours. He filled out all the paperwork for us and prepared all the information we needed for my meeting. He was great and he even came in with us to Hayley’s Planning meeting.
“Ive been really impressed with the whole NDIS process so far. I was a little nervous walking in but the Planner we had in our meeting was lovely. She really listened to us.” said Shan.
Shan’s advice to other families who are still working through their Planning meeting preparations is to be honest and not take all the negative comments on board that they might hear.
“There’s a lot of overwhelming information out there about the NDIS, and yes you have to think of the worst day of your loved one’s life rather than the best day when you’re answering the Planner’s questions in your meeting, but they are there to help you. Having people to support you in the meeting is a really good idea too.
“The NDIS doesn’t have to be scary. I don’t know yet know what we’ll get in our Plan, but so far we’ve had a very positive experience.” said Shan.
For more information on how Myhorizon can support you through your NDIS journey, contact us today.
The sun, surf and sand is what makes the Queensland beaches a major attraction for most of us. For many individuals with a disability however, it isn’t always a simple activity to access the beach safely, let alone the surf.
Well the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia (DSAA) is changing that and bringing smiles to people with all disability of all ages and taking them surfing in a fun, friendly and safe environment.
Let’s Go Surfing Day is organised by the DSAA at various times of the year all around Australia, and brings together participants with a disability who are keen to get back into the water, and a dedicated group of around 50 volunteers per event who physically support them to achieve this.
David Gunn, a Myhorizon participant receiving support from our Ashmore Lifestyle team, recently took part in Let’s go Surfing Day on the Gold Coast. David, who acquired a brain injury 25 years ago, was an avid surfer from Ballina as a young adult, and had since not been back in the surf. With the encouragement of David’s Lifestyle support worker Rex Middleton, David was able to experience his love of the beach and the surf once again.
“After getting David out of his wheelchair, and into a special beach chair designed for the sand, we pushed him to the edge of the water and with the help of the amazing volunteers we were able to lift David onto the surfboard and down to the water.
There were around eight volunteers who carried David past the initial breakers, and turned him around in the water, with more volunteers lining the shore. Once David was pushed onto a wave, he started surfing towards the beach. It was pretty awesome.” Said Rex.
With a ratio of around 12-15 volunteers per each participant, there are plenty of DSAA volunteers at an arm’s reach to keep the participants on course, and assist the participants to get back onto the board if they are to fall off.
“David had three turns and the second time fell off his board, but he was fine with it. He was helped back onto the board and had a third go and loved it. He says he’d definitely love to do it again.” Said Rex.
David’s mum Alana also encouraged the experience, as David grew up living near the ocean and spent years in the surf, and she knew he would enjoy the activity.
“I think it’s important for David to know that he isn’t locked in to a situation, and he can do different things. I was overwhelmed and grateful to David’s Support Worker Rex for initiating this idea. I had no idea an activity like this was available for David, and when Rex spoke to me about this idea, we both really felt that David would benefit from an experience like this, so I’m very appreciative.” said Alana.
Let’s go Surfing is open to anyone with a disability with events running on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. For more information go to www.disabledsurfers.org
To find out how Myhorizon can build a lifestyle that is right for you, speak to our friendly team today on 1300 MYHORIZON or 07 3824 7007, or reach us via our contact form.
With many participants awaiting the introduction of the NDIS from 1 July in south-east QLD, there are some already reaping the benefits of this new disability funding scheme.
Meet Ben, a playful and energetic 6 year old boy from Cornubia, just south of Brisbane. Ben was diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half years old. Originally from Bowen, a regional town in North Queensland, Ben’s family decided to move to Brisbane in early 2017 so they could access more supports and therapies needed not only for Ben, but for the entire family.
Ben is currently receiving funding under the NDIS which pays for his various therapies including occupational and speech therapies, an essential part of Ben’s weekly progress.
When speaking to Ben’s mother Kim, it’s immediately evident how passionate Kim is about getting the support and tools Ben needs.
“My biggest goal for Ben is to have him improve his communication skills, but also for him to ultimately be happy in his own skin, however that may look” says Kim.
Kim was referred to the Early Intervention Team at Myhorizon’s Ian McDougall Centre by a friend and hasn’t looked back.
“Coming to Myhorizon was the best thing I ever did. Geraldine, Kylee, and the staff have been wonderful. Myhorizon is more than just a centre, they actually care. There’s nothing that they won’t go out of their way to help me with” says Kim.
Myhorizon’s occupational therapist visits Ben’s regularly at his school to provide him with therapy in his own school environment. “This makes things so much easier for us” says Kim.
“It’s sometimes hard to know what is typical 6 year old behaviour, and what is autism. One day you’ll have a good day, and the next day may not be so good, but he is definitely making progress. He is becoming more social, more coordinated and generally more settled in his own skin” says Kim.
“Myhorizon even manage my NDIS funds for me. I give them the bill and they take care of it which takes a load off my shoulders because I don’t have to worry about invoices or people getting paid” Says Kim.
When asked what advice she would give someone currently working through their NDIS planning, Kim recommends that being specific with your requirements and being prepared is key for your NDIS meetings.
“Arm yourself with information and look to organisations like Myhorizon to walk you through what you need to do” says Kim.
For any NDIS advice or more information about our various services catering to all life stages from birth, right through to adulthood, contact Myhorizon on 07 3824 7007 or leave an email enquiry for us using the contact form on this website.
The Lifestyle team at Myhorizon are showing a strong display of collaboration across our various sites, where once a month a group of nominated participants meet together as true leaders in the newly formed Participant Advisory Committee (PAC).
This committee was formed by participants, for participants and is a genuine opportunity for those exhibiting qualities of leadership, creative thinking, and initiative to be nominated by their fellow committee members and be a part of a forum that provides them and their peers with a voice.
The committee currently meet at either the Myhorizon Springwood, Ormeau or Ashmore office on the Gold Coast, and have a formal discussion to provide feedback and generate new ideas on the way Myhorizon delivers its Lifestyle Service to them and fellow peers, and the wider community. They then help implement these improvements at their respective branch locations.
When asked what qualities make a great leader and an ideal member of the committee, the participant leaders chime in with attributes that speak to ‘commitment’, and ‘being a good listener’, all important qualities of a strong leader recognised by the entire group.
Recently, Participant Committee member, Antonia Bray, was the driving force behind a fundraiser held at the Springwood branch. Antonia thought it would be a great idea for the participants and staff of Myhorizon to support a worthy cause and so coordinated a ‘Day for Daniel’ fundraiser which is aimed at educating children about safety and support for young victims of crime.
Antonia managed everything from the event registration right through to promoting the event with posters and flyers, and arranging for all taking part to dress in red for the day. Together with the support of the other participants, Antonia and the team raised $150 for the worthy cause.
The Lifestyle team at Myhorizon are passionate about participants having this opportunity to make their own decisions and directly influence their own lives in a positive and meaningful way.
“We are finding this new initiative is working extremely well as a strategy for positive behaviour management” says Key Worker, Colleen Bleathman.
“These participants own the process and the outcomes of these meetings, and many of the ideas they come up with are really clever and relevant.”
For more information on Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service, simply call our Lifestyle Team on 07 3824 7007 or leave an email enquiry for us using the contact form on this website.
(Photo: From left to right: Participant Advisory Committee members – Julia Wojciechowski, Antonia Bray, Jason Korostovetz, Stefan Kanserski, Reese Poelstra, discussing their ideas for Myhorizon Lifestyle services.)