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Helping people learn life skills

Getting his “Ls” and securing a job were Bayden Parker’s top NDIS goals and he has already smashed them. Greater independence and being able to get around without having to rely on others gave Bayden the motivation he needed. This, and the help of his Challenge Community Services support worker, Andrew.

Bayden joined the Connexions program as part of his NDIS plan. Run by Challenge Community Services, Connexions is a program for young people living with a disability aged 18 to 35 to help them learn practical life skills. Organised social activities also provide a relaxed and safe environment to make new friends.

“Bayden is a very determined young man,” confirms Andrew. “He studied very hard and getting his ‘Ls’ has given him a real boost in confidence. He’s now building up his 120 hours of driving practice and preparing for the Hazard Perception Test.”

Although Bayden enjoys meeting new people, he was initially attracted to the idea that he could focus on his NDIS goals one-on-one with a support worker. Not only did he get his ‘Ls’ first go, he has also secured a job as a commercial cleaner. “It’s a lot of hard work,” says Bayden. “I’m doing Certificate II and III in Commercial Cleaning, I’ve got my graduation in six weeks.”

Bayden and Andrew have become firm companions and are enjoying socialising with other Connexions participants. “After working so hard to get his ‘Ls’ and secure the commercial cleaning job, Bayden deserves a bit of time to relax,” says Andrew. Bayden agrees. “I love meeting new people and Connexions is a great way to do this. I really like getting out of the house and joining in the activities like fishing and bowling.”

Bayden is also planning a surfing trip to Byron Bay with his brother in late April, a reward for getting his ‘Ls’. “The surf is excellent at Byron and I like the food and the coffee. I want to get some new surf clothes too. It’s lovely, I want to live up there,” says Bayden.

If you would like to work towards your life goals using your NDIS plan or take part in Connexions social activities, please contact Challenge on 1800 679 129 or email

Article by The Newcastle Herald April 5th, 2019 click here to view

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