Emily & Beverley – A perfect pairing

When transitioning into Supported Independent Living (SIL), Myhorizon believes that the compatibility matching process is the highest of priority. We want our participants to live with people they feel safe and comfortable with.

We believe that the success of a SIL home is dependent on appropriately matching participants based on age, gender, interest, location and support needs.

For participants Emily and Beverley, their 2022 transition to a Myhorizon Supported Independent Living home in Burbank has been a major one. Beverley has relocated all the way from Melbourne and Emily from the Gold Coast, both to be closer to their families.

Despite the challenges that comes with moving in with a new housemate in a new community, Beverley with her bright, articulate, and bubbly personality is pairing very well with Emily’s soft, gentle and caring traits, proving a successful compatibility match so far.

“I love the house and being close to my family. I get on really well with my housemate.” Says Beverley, who is now also preparing to welcome a third resident into her home with Emily.

Both ladies are working towards their goals to increase their independence in the home and build their daily living skills such as cooking and shared household chores.

A message from Joe – Winter 2022

Joe GamblinWe never know what is around the corner. The lingering impact of COVID, the recent change in government, economic insecurity and cost of living increases coupled with the extraordinary world events unfolding in Ukraine all contribute to a period of uncertainty, high stress levels and increased mental health concerns. COVID has brought many challenges with wide disruption of services.

Fortunately, Myhorizon has been proactive in ensuring the safety of our Participants by following COVID safe measures including the compulsory vaccination of all staff. Disruption has been kept to a bare minimum where at all possible as the virus has spread throughout the community.

On top of all of these issues there has been enormous stress as a result of the constantly changing NDIS. In the lead up to the Australian Government election there was a groundswell of criticism demanding that the NDIS be remodelled to reflect its original intention.

Participants, their nominees and service providers have all vented their frustrations. It’s been a mess to say the least and hopefully the new government will deliver on its promise to fix the NDIS.

Fortunately, Myhorizon deals with the complexity of the NDIS every single day and though we can’t change the rules we do have expert knowledge of the scheme and will always advocate where we can on behalf of Participants.

I would like to pass on congratulations to our Employment Services division who again have blitzed their recent quality standards audit and consistently achieve 5 star status for Participants across a number of their sites. Finding and keeping jobs for people with a disability can make an extraordinary difference to their lives. Our latest survey of our Employment & Training Division Participants recorded an overall satisfaction rate of 98%, with 73% of Participants being very satisfied with our service. Congratulations to the Employment Services Team for such an outstanding result.

It is pleasing that during the struggles and disruption over the past couple of years, we have been able to maintain our commitment to our Participants of being with you, for you.

Joe Gamblin,
CEO

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.

Kasper is cooking up a storm

When it comes to food and cooking, Kasper, a participant from our Logan Lifestyle Centre, is constantly thinking up new ideas for what he can create in the kitchen.

From wraps and burgers, to cakes and sweets, Kasper’s newfound love of cooking is at the top of his list of things he now enjoys.

After many years of suffering from severe food intolerances, a recent health procedure has meant that Kasper can now enjoy a much wider variety of foods, allowing him to get creative and explore new recipes that are a little more exciting than his previous bland diet.

Nowadays, you will find Kasper outside using the BBQ with Jean Claude, or in the kitchen with Tia (his Support Workers), cooking up a storm, and building his Daily Living skills.

Lifestyle’s Executive Manager, Belinda Thompson, is passionate about ensuring participants have hands on opportunities to grow their skills and reach their goals.

“It’s about empowering individuals to explore all the things they enjoy and nurture their interests and develop their competencies”, she said.

Apart from cooking, Kasper has also been running a car washing business for the last few years, with a growing client base of staff and visitors at the Loganlea Community Centre every Tuesday.

Why not drop in next time you’re in the area for a quick wash or even a full detail. Kasper can cover just about any car cleaning needs you have!

For more information about our Lifestyle services and locations, contact us today.

A message from Joe – Summer 2021/22

It is refreshing to almost see the end of this crazy year. This festive season is a time for us to restock, refresh, and remind ourselves of the good things in our lives, and the hope we hold for the future.

I am personally thankful for the amazing staff we have at Myhorizon who have taken on all of the challenges they have been confronted with, especially the additional pressure as a result of the impact of COVID.

Safety of our clients has been our number one priority and we are fortunate to have been able to continue to operate our various programs with minimum disruption. Mandatory vaccinations are now in place and all Myhorizon staff delivering services have been vaccinated.

2022 is a year of new beginnings and new opportunities to be embraced, and Myhorizon is here to support you in the journey.

From the Board, management and staff, we wish all of our Myhorizon subscribers the very best for the Festive Season. We will continue to be with you, for you in in 2022.

Joe Gamblin
CEO

 

Image: Myhorizon Disability Support Professionals – Jade & Jackie, with CEO Joe Gamblin

Staff Spotlight – Bell Thompson

We are thrilled to have Bell Thompson join the Myhorizon team as our new Executive Manager of Lifestyle. We took some time to get to know a little more about her….

Q. What other key roles and organisations have you worked in prior to Myhorizon?
I have worked in the disability industry for 17 years. My experience spans from a Disability Support Worker, Support Coordinator, Service Coordinator, Service Manager and Business Development Manager. Predominantly I worked for Guardien Group, for almost 10 years and prior to this I worked for Autism Queensland (where I started as a very young support worker).

Q. What inspires you to work in the disability sector and what do you hope to bring to your new role at Myhorizon?
I am inspired by the opportunity to make a positive impact on a person with a disability’s life. I believe that every day is another chance to do something that could make a big difference in the life of an individual. I might be a little naïve but my mission is to help build awareness in hopes of subsiding the stereotypical mindset of society and build a more inclusive and positive community for people with disability. I would like to build upon a collaborative and partnership approach to service delivery and support the Myhorizon team as I am understanding that our work is unique and at times challenging. I strongly feel that our team members are the heart and soul of the organisation and as a leader it is my intension to look after those who look after our clients.

Q. What is something people may not know about you?
I am a die hard AFL fan, who supports Carlton Football club. It would be an understatement to say this is a passion, but rather a lifestyle. Carn’ the blues!!!

Joel’s Happy Place is in the Garden

There’s a famous Chinese proverb that says “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener”. For Myhorizon Employment and Training participant, Joel Speakman, he has found his happy place, working towards a career in horticulture and gardening.

26 year old Joel loves working outdoors, and joined Myhorizon’s Horticulture team doing work experience before gaining paid employment with Shedland Garden Nursery.

Michelle Robertson, owner of the Shedland Garden Nursery, employed Joel for 18 months right up until she closed down her business, and was impressed by his attention to detail and strong work ethic.

“Joel constantly performed well and soon became an integral and valued team member. He made a positive difference to our daily business operations every single day he was employed.” Said Michelle.

“As an employer, I found nothing was ever a problem for Joel. He was flexible and reliable, particularly when asked to do extra hours on a shift. Joel was always respectful and had a very polite nature”. Said Michelle.

Joel’s reliable and flexible work ethic, together with the right opportunity provided by employers such as Michelle, saw Joel recently move into a new paid job with Capalaba Nursery as a Nursery Assistant.

Joel’s Employment Coordinator, Jodie McIntosh, is passionate about matching the right employer with the right candidate, supporting Joel who has now started work with Capalaba Nursery only 2 days after finishing at Shedlands .

“It’s about opening new doors and opportunities to people who have so much to offer. The benefits work both ways, not only providing paid employment and new skills for our candidates, but also providing our local businesses and employers with recruits who bring a new energy, outlook, and work ethic”. Said Jodie.

For more information on Myhorizon’s Horticulture and Employment and Training services, Contact us.

$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.

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.

A great display of leadership

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.)