Yooralla customer Clinton says he was able to achieve one of his biggest life accomplishments – travelling to Ballarat to attend a big family celebration recently – thanks to Yooralla and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“I still can’t believe I was able to do it. I am so happy!” said Clinton beaming.
Ruth Crespin, Service Manager of the Yooralla residential accommodation where Clinton lives, said when the team learnt that Clinton’s family were planning a get together in Ballarat to celebrate his brother buying a house, they brainstormed what they could do to ensure that he could attend.
“Clinton’s NDIS plan review was coming up so we worked with him to make sure that his NDIS goals in his next plan were aligned with this family event,” she said.
Once Clinton had his next NDIS plan, Yooralla Support Coordinator, Helen Foley, then worked with Clinton to make sure he learnt how to budget to be able to save up for the trip.
“We organised a budget for his NDIS funding so he could get an overview of what funding he had and what he would need to allocate for his Ballarat trip,” she said.
Toos DeBoer, the Yooralla Disability Support Worker who supported Clinton during his three-day trip, said a lot of planning and preparation went into ensuring the trip was a success.
“We wanted to make sure that Clinton was comfortable and had everything he needed while he was away, so he could just focus on enjoying his trip. We were staying at a hotel – in connecting rooms – so we had to make sure we had everything packed with us: a mobile hoist, a sling, a shower chair, a second smaller non-electric wheelchair for Clinton so he could move more easily while inside,” she said.
Toos said that Clinton was so excited about staying at a hotel that he wanted to go to the hotel’s swimming pool before they even finished checking in.
“And this is exactly what we did!” said Toos laughing. “I’ve been supporting Clinton doing his swimming lessons for over a year now; he really loves swimming and it was exciting for him to swim in a new pool. We also went to another pool for a swim in Ballarat during our stay there,” she said.
Clinton said the best part of his trip was spending time with his family and playing with his nephew.
“We had a barbie and watched some footy,” he said.
He also went to the Gold Museum, had a family picnic at Lake Wendouree and did lots of bushwalking.
“After Ballarat, he fell in love with bushwalking and is now looking for a bushwalking group near where he lives in Melbourne. I think this trip was a real eye-opener for Clinton; I’d say quite life-changing in a lot of ways, and before the NDIS this trip would never be possible,” said Toos.
Clinton said he enjoyed his trip so much that he is already planning another one at the end of the year.
“I can’t wait to go to Ballarat again, I’m so excited,” he said.