Yooralla’s swim program is making splashes in the community sector

DATE: 21 September 2017

Yooralla’s swim program is making splashes in the community sector

Sue Wiedermann, a teacher from Yooralla's Allied Services and Wellbeing team in the Inner and Outer South, has been facilitating an aquatics program for children with disability for the past four years.

​Sue Wiedermann, a teacher from Yooralla's Allied Services and Wellbeing team in the Inner and Outer South, has been facilitating an aquatics program for children with disability for the past four years.

Given her hard work and dedication in running this aquatics program, called Splashes, Sue has been nominated by two other Yooralla staff members for a HESTA Community Sector Award, which recognise outstanding service provision, advocacy and leadership to improve the lives of people who rely on community services.

Splashes is an innovative water-based program for children with disabilities, designed to increase their confidence, awareness and skills in the water, whilst also acting as a stepping stone toward community swimming lessons.

Facilitated by trained teachers and staff in a safe and supportive environment, the program provides innumerable benefits to children. As well as supporting children to swim, Splashes also teaches children about the importance of water safety, and also further develops their language and self-care skills, such as dressing.

"The swimming program is great because it caters to children with physical or intellectual disabilities or both", said Jenifer Morris Cosgriff, Senior Group Manager of Yooralla's Kindergarten, Inclusion and School Support Services and one of the people who nominated Sue.

"The feedback we've received about the program has all been very positive", continued Jenifer.

"Families and children have called it fantastic and said it's also a really great social environment for the kids".

The program is equally as beneficial to children as it is to their parents and carers, as they gain confidence to better support their children safely in the water and assist them to develop new movement skills.  It also increases their confidence to access local swim centres with their children.

Finalists for the HESTA Community Sector Awards will be announced on Tuesday 26 September, with winners to be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 24 October.

Chris Vallas is Manager of Yooralla's Allied Services and Wellbeing in the Outer South and the other person to nominate Sue for the award.

"Sue was a little bit nervous and humbled to be nominated for the award", said Chris Vallas, Manager of Allied Services and Wellbeing in the Outer South, "but she also realises how important it is to promote the program".

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