Yooralla expands: Our new customers and colleagues on their transition

DATE: 4 May 2021

Yooralla expands: Our new customers and colleagues on their transition

Yooralla was appointed by YMCA Victoria Group to take over the operation of its disability service in Avondale Heights in February 2021.

We welcomed our new customers and colleagues from YMCA’s Macey Heights Community Hub in February 2021.

When Yooralla was appointed by YMCA Victoria Group to take over the operation of its disability service in Avondale Heights, the key goal was to ensure there was minimal disruption for the customers and staff throughout the transition.

We’ve checked in with our new customers and colleagues to see how they found the process.

Jim and Marie

Jim, father of Michael who attends the hub, said the most important thing for their family was to ensure that nothing changed “overnight” that could affect their son’s routines and well-being.

“Michael has autism and people with autism thrive on routines. It was important to us that nothing would change suddenly.

“I have to say we were so impressed with how Yooralla handled the transition – they really bent over backwards to ensure that we were all informed and supported.

“For such a large organisation, they were so approachable and so down-to-earth and always had the time to answer any questions we had,” said Jim.

Jim said that it was also evident that Yooralla “really puts the customer at the centre of everything they do”.

“For example, Michael loves attending the basketball sessions at the hub, but he often prefers to watch the game rather than participate, and his choices are always considered and respected.

“The result is that Michael has a big cheesy grin when he gets home from the hub – we can tell he is really happy there,” said Jim.

John and Kaye

John and Kaye, parents of Tim who attends the hub five days a week, said the transition was “stress-free” and Yooralla “really listened” to them.

“Yooralla really went out of its way from the get-go to ensure that we were supported and understood exactly how the transition would work and what to expect,” he said.

Kaye said Yooralla held regular meetings with the families throughout the process.

“It was very evident that Yooralla wanted the best for our kids and really listened to what we, as parents, had to say and what we wanted – and so far, they’ve delivered on everything they said they would do.

“They reassured us that nothing would change – and nothing has changed. The transition from our perspective went really smoothly; it couldn’t have really gone any better than it did,” said Kaye.

John said their family has also been impressed with the “internal workings of Yooralla”.

“Yooralla’s rigid approach to recruitment to ensure only quality support workers are hired, as well as their processes, systems and protocols, are second to none.

“And it is evident even in the smaller day-to-day things – for example, as soon as Yooralla took over, the notes in Tim’s diary became incredibly thorough and regular,” he said.

John and Kaye said that the biggest indicator of how successful the transition has been is to see how happy their son is attending the service.

“Tim loves going to the hub and has the biggest smile on his face when we pick him up,” they said.

Marina Ivelja

Marina Ivelja, Service Manager at Macey Heights Community Hub, had been working at the service for almost 15 years before the transition to Yooralla.

She said her key focus was to ensure the families were informed and supported throughout the process.

“Yooralla very quickly established trusting relationships with everyone and was very transparent throughout process.

“The feedback that I have received was that everyone felt included and listened to, and most importantly – that Yooralla delivered on everything they said they would do.

“The families didn’t want any sudden changes and Yooralla absolutely made sure this was respected.

“Our team at Macey Heights are excited to be part of such a great organisation and looking forward to meeting everyone at Yooralla,” said Marina.

Yooralla has 17 Community Hubs 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 it here.

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