A group of seven customers from Yooralla’s Drouin Community Hub (Hub) went on a holiday to Queenscliff recently, supported by Yooralla.
Yooralla’s Community Inclusion team, in partnership with the Hub, planned the three-day adventure, designed to build customers’ confidence and independence.
Tania Canidisech, Community Inclusion Manager, Southern Region, Community Services, said for many people with disability going away without their parents is a “huge step”.
“For many of the customers who went on the holiday, it was only the first or second time they have ever been away without their families; and every single one of them had a fantastic time, asking, as soon as they came back to Drouin, when they can go on another holiday,” she said.
The trip was carefully planned around each customer’s personality and interests.
The group drove from the Hub to Sorrento, a town on the Mornington Peninsula, from where they took a ferry to Queenscliff, a small town on the Bellarine Peninsula in southern Victoria.
Josie Ferre, one of Yooralla’s Disability Support Workers who supported the group, said it was a perfect day for a ferry ride.
“It was gorgeous and sunny, so after enjoying a nice morning tea, everyone went outside on the top deck. It was quite windy, so everyone’s hair was flying around while we were trying to take selfies, so there was a lot of laughter!” she said.
In Queenscliff, the group went out to nice dinners, played mini golf and did lots of sightseeing. They also took a road trip to Portarlington.
Maria Cutts, mother of Eric who went on the holiday, said the experience brought “Eric completely out of his shell”.
“He normally likes being on his own, in his room – he is normally not a big talker – but during the holiday he was a completely different person. He spent the entire time socialising and having a lot of fun. The support workers sent a lot of photos to us throughout the holiday,” she said.
Eric was a little nervous on the morning of the departure but as soon as he saw his Yooralla support workers, he was “smiling ear-to-ear”, said Maria.
“I think this is a real testament to the team at the Hub. I can’t speak highly enough of them. Eric absolutely loves going to the Hub because of the staff there,” she said.
Yooralla offers a wide range of recreational activities including holidays for adults, camps and youth groups for children and teenagers, school holiday programs and social groups for adults with disability.
Pictured: Yooralla customer Eric, in Queenscliff with a Yooralla support worker.