Creating community connections

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After four years in Tamworth, our popular Disability Services Connexions program opened its doors in Newcastle on May 24. The launch was a great success with 55 people enjoying a day of fun and activities. The program is eligible for NDIS funding and is available to local residents living with a disability, aged 18 to 35, who have low support requirements. Connexions provides clients with the opportunity to spend time with people their own age while taking part in a range of skill-building and social activities. 

Connexion’s life skills activities teach tools people require in their day-to-day life and classes currently include Fitness with Paulo, Getting Your L’s and Cooking. In the Fitness with Paulo classes, clients can get fit, lose weight or just make friends by participating in indoor and outdoor workouts, yoga, martial arts or a team sport. In this class, clients can improve their fitness levels and learn the benefits of exercise as well as finding out how to safely work out, do specific exercises and use the equipment correctly. After their workout, clients can catch up for a coffee, snack or lunch at the gym cafe. 

Learning how to cook is an essential life skill for anyone, and is a great way for young people with disabilities to become more independent. The Connexions cooking lessons teach our clients how to plan a meal, shop to a budget and safely cook healthy meals. Along with other people the same age, clients are able to learn how to read and learn recipes, organise a menu and shop for ingredients, and clean up afterwards. All while creating their very own recipe book to take home. 

Connexions client Kevin recently passed his L’s test after participating in the ‘Getting Your L’s’ classes for over 18s. At ‘Getting Your L’s’, Kevin learnt about the road runs, safe driving, and road safety. During the classes, Kevin got a chance to work through the NSW Road Users’ Handbook and prepare for his ‘Driver Knowledge Test’ through workbooks, practice tests and online training resources. The lessons helped Kevin to build his confidence, knowledge and skills, and now he is looking forward to working towards his provisional licence.  

Author: Challenge Community Services

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About Challenge Community Services

60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. 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 600 staff, 85 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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