By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director
"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya focuses on inclusivity and opportunity for International Day of People with Disability.
To see people for who they are and the things they are capable of is an incredibly simple and yet powerful gift.
When you encourage and support people to embody their potential, the impact can be monumental and that’s what IMPACT Community Services strives for daily.
Today, December 3, the International Day of People with Disability and this year’s theme is ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world’.
IDPwD is about increasing awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.
IMPACT has spent years helping people improve their lives in line with their goals and passions by creating diverse and inclusive opportunities.
Our support services promote choice and control and are tailored to suit a person’s specific needs.
Our aim is to help people engage with your community and educational activities, to build their independence and overall confidence.
At IMPACT there are various avenues in which we are helping people with a disability engage and participate in the community.
From supported employment opportunities at the Material Recovery Facility, to developing new skills in Rob’s Shed and creating a fun and inclusive environment with the community choir; there’s something for everyone.
In Rob’s Shed, participants are taught how to use power tools and materials to construct a range of different items safely.
Time in the workshop is not only affording participants a chance to engage in a different activity, but also giving people an opportunity to learn and develop skills to move into employment.
The work done in Rob’s Shed is helping to build confidence, skills and of course woodworking projects.
Some of the past creations in the shed include bird boxes, toolboxes, pallet furniture and dog houses.
IMPACT also has Manga art sessions, craft and cooking activities designed to boost individual independence and fun!
For more information about IMPACT’s support services, call 4153 4233.
IMPACT Community Services has been providing disability support to the Bundaberg community for 20 years with a mental health and goals-oriented focus.
The programs provided have changed with time and continue to grow with feedback from IMPACT’s NDIS and disability participants.
Arguably the most popular service at IMPACT, Rob’s Shed invites NDIS participants into the building and construction environment.
Here, students are guided in woodworking and craftsmanship, from creating bird boxes and toolboxes to pallet furniture and dog houses.
Woodworking is known for its positive effects on mental health and function.
This course, which runs on Monday and Thursday, is also a great way to meet new people who have similar interests and learn new skills along the way.
New participant Mannan joined Rob’s Shed a few months ago for one-on-one sessions, having an interest in sanding.
“Being sensitive to noise and finding it hard to concentrate, we are so happy to see him using different tools like the drilling machine, circular saw, nail gun and planer safely with assistance and following Rob’s instructions,” Mannan’s mother said.
“He is very excited for the small projects he works on. He looks forward for the sessions.”
IMPACT’s NDIS Coordinator Roz Blood said woodworking was great therapy for people with anxiety and mental health issues.
“And it's perfect for NDIS participants,” she said.
“Rob's Shed is more a social format and participants work on group projects… the skills you learn in this course you can replicate at home on your own.”
The service is run by experienced tradesman and namesake Rob Wallace who is big on workplace health and safety and prides himself on the fact there’s not been anyone injured during the three years his shed has been running.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Rob said about the role.
“There are a few of the people here who have been with me now for a couple of years.
“They really enjoy the work. We have quite a few projects going at any one time to make sure people don’t get bored.”
“It’s all about skilling people and making sure they know how to use the tools safely.”
Rob’s Shed now has two female participants who also enjoy the activities.
Other services on offer at IMPACT include the Cooee arts group, Fitness for Fun, Manga Art and the Community Access Group.
The monthly excursions and monthly Friday night outings were put on hold due to COVID but will be back and better than ever very soon.
While not exclusively run by the NDIS department, the IMPACT Choir is a big hit within the community and will also be returning next month.
The choir offers an inclusive environment for all people to sing along and perform together.
For more information on IMPACT’s NDIS and disability services phone 4153 4233.
IMPACT Community Services is putting out the call for women registered in NDIS who might like to strap on a tool belt and learn some new skills.
The NDIS Support Service team has seen a large uptake in enrolments and are keen to expand one of their most popular and successful programs.
NDIS Support Services Manager Jannene Thorn said Rob's Shed, which provides a safe, fun space where participants can learn and exercise woodworking skills to build structures such as cabinets, benches and birdhouses, is almost full.
While an increase in enrolments has left just one spot available in Rob’s Shed, the ladies have got another option on offer.
With men taking up the majority of enrolments in the program, Ms Thorn has vowed not to let the guys have all the fun and is very eager to replicate Rob's Shed for the sheilas.
She said the increase in enrolments is a great sign they are delivering a top-notch service.
“It's good to see people exercising their right to choice and control,” Ms Thorn said.
Many NDIS providers have similar programs but Jannene believes her team's level of professionalism is what distinguishes IMPACT's NDIS services.
“In all our programs we provide adult activities in an adult way,” she said.
IMPACT offers fitness groups, cooking classes, workshop classes, craft groups, art classes and many other engaging activities. All programs are participant-directed and only limited by imagination.
“We make sure that they all have some key value,” Ms Thorn said.
If you are interested in joining other like-minded women to expand your carpentry knowledge, or are looking to enrol in another course, give us a call and sign up now!
If you would like to read more about what is on offer at Rob's Shed, you might like this story about one of its keenest participants, Jaimi.