Clare’s story: finding her way to independence

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Clare’s sparkle could light up any room.

A strong-willed 19-year-old, Clare believes she has the world at her fingertips and the achievements she has made over the past two years are testament to that.

Clare struggled to get people to understand her while she was growing up. Epilepsy meant she was in and out of the hospital and often on a cocktail of medications.

One of the goals many of our clients here at Challenge Community Services share and one that Clare was determined to achieve was independence – the chance to create a life of her own.

While gaining independence seemed to Clare like an endless mountain to climb, there was simply no stopping her from picking up her hiking boots and giving it a go.

With the help from our disability support workers at her side, Clare has undertaken a remarkable journey towards her dream life.

Amongst many other achievements, Clare has now moved out of her parent’s home to live in her own place with her roommate, Sarah.

“I was really excited about the opportunities that moving out offered for my future. Challenge has helped me to learn the skills I need to be able to look after myself, my place and realise my dreams in work and study.” Clare said.

Our disability services staff provide one-on-one support to help Clare develop her life skills, connect with the community and access work and study opportunities. From showing Clare how to budget, which includes advice and support around the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through to helping her cook, clean and meal prep effectively. As well as helping her to develop social skills, we’ve worked closely with Clare to assist her on the road to independence.

Clare recently got her P1 driver’s licence and is well on her way to completing her training to be an AUSTSWIM swimming and water safety teacher. She is also finishing her Certificate I in Hospitality, with help from Challenge to get her between locations.

“Challenge has really helped me to work through my dyslexia, complete my assessments and pass my courses with confidence. I’ve even recently been offered an interview for a role as a motivational speaker for people with disabilities. I have always been good at speaking and I enjoy it, so I’d like the opportunity to motivate and help people with disabilities to realise that they can achieve what they want too,” Clare said.

With Clare’s new found confidence and skills, she’s already set her eyes on her bigger dreams.

“I don’t want to be on a disability pension for my whole life. I’d like to save enough money to travel around the world. And I’d love to set up my own music label as I enjoy both song writing and singing. I’d even love to be an artist or write a book,” Clare said.

Clare reminds us all that the challenges of having a disability can be overcome with the right level of support.

Here at Challenge, we believe everyone deserves the right to live the lifestyle of their choice. If you would like to find out more about discovering your own or a loved one's independence, click here to download our free ‘The School Leaver’s Complete Guide to the NDIS’ ebook.

CTA NDIS school leavers 2

Author: Challenge Community Services

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About Challenge Community Services

Over 60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disability. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 880 staff, 95 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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