Michael makes an exciting move with the help of Yooralla
DATE: 10 April 2018
Yooralla has supported Michael to achieve his lifelong dream of living independently.
Michael, who has cerebral palsy, moved out of his family home to live with his brother and best friend last month.
He says it is the invaluable independent living skills he gained from attending Yooralla’s Whitehorse Community Hub that gave him the confidence to take the plunge and do it.
“I thought about it for a while; then one day, I said to my brother and best friend ‘Why don’t we try flatting together, on our own?’. At first they thought I was joking but very quickly they got as excited about it as I was,” said Michael.
“I’ve done banking and budgeting, learnt how to plan and do a weekly grocery shop, and also, attending Exploring Melbourne has given me a lot of confidence with travelling on my own,” said 33-year-old Michael, who has been attending the Hub five days a week for the past six years.
Exploring Melbourne is one of many programs offered at Yooralla’s Whitehorse Community Hub. The program was created to support people with disability to not just visit different parts of Melbourne, but also to gain experience and develop confidence travelling by public transport independently.
The trio soon found a suitable five-bedroom house in Box Hill, making sure it was close to the Hub and train station, and moved in together.
“So far, we are really enjoying living on our own. We prepare dinner and tidy up afterwards together every night, and I like that I am so close to the Hub so I can wheel myself there and back every day,” says Michael who uses a wheelchair.
“It was a little bit scary but very exciting at the same time. To be honest I think my mum was more nervous than me,” said Michael laughing. “I make sure to call her twice a day to let her know I’m OK and me and my brother go visit our parents every weekend,” he said.
Yooralla has 16 Community Hubs (or meeting places) across Victoria, where people with disability can receive the support they require, meet new friends and get out in their local community, all while learning new skills. You can read more about them here.