Life Skills Centre Has It All.
Sydney’s stifling heat – with temperatures as high as the mid-30s – wasn’t enough to keep the crowds away from last Saturday’s memorable Life Skills Centre Open Day at Austral.
The Life Skills Centre is the brainchild of prominent NDIS provider Hope And Care’s popular co-founder Mona Salem, who was inspired to open the centre to extend the legacy of her beautiful 10-year-old daughter Sara, who tragically passed away in 2015.
But while the Centre is officially a Hope And Care initiative, Mona says that the facilities are there for all NDIS companies to use, and she hopes that other Providers will embrace the concept for the benefit of their clients.
After all, these types of initiatives are all about the clients – or “participants” as Mona calls them – not about the service providers.
“We want our participants to have a full life experience in a warm, supportive atmosphere….I call it a Journey Through Life,” Mona explained.
It was great to see the Federal Member for Werriwa, Anne Stanley and Liverpool Council’s Nathan Hegarty as the official guests and they don’t come much bigger in terms of popularity than the day’s special Master of Ceremonies, two times World Boxing Champion Billy Dib, who did a wonderful job behind the microphone.
The facilities at the Life Skills Centre are many and varied and you will see from the list below that Mona and her team have come up with just about everything to help NDIS participants gain the skill set required to live as independently and normally as possible.
But as all work and no play makes life very boring, there are also plenty of ‘fun’ facilities as well:
- Lifestyle Room – Starting with the wake-up, our routine from the bedroom, a tailored room experience that assists with making the bed, personal hygiene & shower instruction.
- Washing up / Laundry – The complete laundry experience, from using the washing machine, dryer and hanging the clothes on the line. Support independent living via practicality.
- What’s cooking? – A comprehensive tour from picking the right food, purchasing groceries, following a recipe and of course serving the meal on a plate! All without having to leave the centre.
- The Music Room– The complete music experience! Form your own band with our complete collection of instruments and technology, with professional musicians to educate and provide therapy through the wonder of music.
- Ease the Senses – A room for focus on well being and meditation. Sensory-friendly and a safe place for winding down.
- Tech Lab – Our fully equipped computer lab is home to our online and desktop exercises, preparing the participants for the demands of school and employment.
- Creative Space – A multipurpose room for arts and crafts, DIY workshops, performances and special occasions. Always a new theme!
- Let’s get Physical / Wellbeing Room – Home gym and professional trainers and practitioners to support the physical needs of rehabilitation and health promotion. A combination of treatment, indoor exercise and outdoor activities ensure the most rewarding and enjoyable health experience.
- Hope and Care Farm – Animal therapy builds on a concept called the human-animal bond, which describes people’s desire to interact with and relate to animals. For many people, interacting with a friendly animal is a very rewarding experience. This bond can produce a calming state and encourage a strong sense of well-being. Our cute and cuddly pets are certain to keep you coming back to visit!
- Hope and Care Arcade – The fully decked out games arcade experience! Hours of entertainment complete with a range of games to suit every taste, once you’re in, you won’t want to leave!
- The Cinema Room – Popcorn, bean bags and the big screen! Watch in comfort or play video games on a larger than life high-resolution screen.
- The Nursery – With tailored wheelchair friendly mobile garden beds, our all-inclusive gardening program allows our participants to learn, heal and grow by gardening. Grow delicious herbs, veggies or sweet-scented flowers to take back home.
- Go Green! – A tailored program on waste management. Encompasses the concepts of compost, recycling and much more.
But without doubt, my favourite concept is…..the Woolworths Supermarket. Thanks to Woolworths Australia, there’s a host of Woolworths brand products, a cash register, shopping baskets and uniforms for the staff. It teaches the participants to interact with the public as if they are working in a supermarket, how to speak to customers, how to give the correct change and how to pack the shopping into the customer’s bags.
The logical next step, of course, is the KITCHEN, where the ‘shoppers’ will head home with their pasta, eggs, bread, milk etc, ready to prepare a nice meal.
A great day was had by all last Saturday, in spite of the aforementioned heat, but without a doubt, the highlight was the very first Hope And Care Idol, where many of the participants showed off their singing and other talents.
Hope And Care Idol was a spin-off of the former TV talent program Australian Idol, but Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll and Jessica Mauboy have nothing on OUR young men and women…of whom we are exceptionally proud.