Moving to Brisbane has been a healthy change for one Challenge Community Services client, who is finding her feet, and friendship, through fitness.
Stacy* moved from Newcastle NSW to her new home in Brisbane where she is living in Supported Independent Living managed by Challenge Disability Services and funded by her NDIS plan.
Passion for fitness
While she works with a few Challenge support workers, Stacy shares a particular passion with Anne: a love for the gym.
“It is good to have a mutual interest in exercise that we can connect over, especially when it is something we are both quite passionate about.”
The pair can often be found exercising, meal planning, shopping for healthy food, or learning a new recipe.
“My favourite thing to do is going to the gym to exercise. I like doing sit-ups and shoulder presses the most. Most days we go down to a local park where there is some gym equipment for us to use,” Stacy said.
“Anne also supports me to go swimming, walking and shopping. I like to keep fit and Anne is teaching me to cook good food.”
Pursuing life goals
Each week, Anne supports Stacy to create her clean-eating meal plan so she can develop the skills needed to budget and eat healthier.
“Now when she gets groceries, Stacy now has a shopping list to remind her of the plan and budget rather than just grabbing what she wants,” Anne said.
Stacy said, “We go shopping on Monday for my groceries and we make a plan for what I’m going to cook for the next week. I like cooking everything, especially salads, casseroles and omelettes.”
According to Stacy, living in her shared home also allows her to pursue his interests and career goals.
“The house is really nice, I like all of it. It’s very comfortable. Anne supports me to go where I want to go, like shopping or to the gym,” Stacy said.
Stacy recently signed up at a local job network and is hoping to find work as a cleaner.
“I have my cleaning certificate and I have lots of work experience as a cleaner. I have worked at hospitals, disability organisations, and at other businesses in Newcastle,” Stacy said.
Supporting Stacy's Independence
Job hunting and life skills are Stacy and Anne’s current focus, with household chores, and learning how to read and write also high on the pair’s to-do list.
“We’ve been concentrating on building Stacy’s independence, allowing her to learn how to do things herself and solve her own problems,” Anne said.
“To begin with, she was relying on support workers to deal with things for her so we have been concentrating on supporting her to do it for herself. We also encourage Stacy to meet her commitments, like calling the doctor and making appointments, but being on hand for support if she needs it.”
Stacy is also able to use her NDIS plan to pay for Anne to accompany her on holidays. The pair are currently spending time planning a trip down to NSW in the near future.
“We’re going back down to Newcastle to see my family for Christmas. We’re thinking of taking the train,” Stacy said.
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*Identifying details have been changes and models used