Fassifern promoting inclusiveness in Boonah

Supporting people with disability and ensuring they feel connected and included in their local communities is an integral part of what Carinity Communities – Fassifern in Boonah is all about.

Speaking in the run up to ‘International Day of People with Disability’ on December 3rd Leanne Pennell, Disability Program Coordinator said that Carinity Communities – Fassifern organises social activities and events that involve the entire community, and this inclusive approach prevents people with disability from feeling isolated from society.

It also gives them a much needed chance to interact with people their own age, she added, promoting friendships, with events like barbeques, outings, trips, hydrotherapy classes, art and craft classes, sing-alongs, and much more.

“One client’s mother remarked recently that her daughter knows more folk in Boonah then she does, so that shows how much social interaction there is. The activities we run give clients their own life outside of home and family. This gives them a sense of individuality, purpose and pleasure. It gives them conversation to share with others about the friends they make and what they do at the centre,” Leanne explained.

International Day of People with Disability is supposed to be an opportunity to mark the achievements and contributions of people with disability, and Leanne said that the community of Boonah acknowledges and celebrates this day in various ways each year.

This year Carinity Communities – Fassifern is involved in running an event in conjunction with The Boonah Shire Disability Support Group, (BSDSG) and The Outlook Training and Resource Centre, which will be a fun day involving musical entertainment, wheelchair dancing, craft making and prizes; and some of the Fassifern service users will be making slices for the morning tea. Invited groups are coming from Beaudesert and Toogoolawah, with up to 80 people attending.

The Cafe11 group comprises a number of people with disability who do cooking and make cakes and slices for use at a Carer Support Group lunch each month along with other events at Carinity Communities – Fassifern – something they derive great pleasure from.

“This group gives them a chance to develop reading, processing skills with recipes and cooking techniques, learn etiquette and skills in serving, as well as cleaning up. On a monthly basis they also print out recipes to share with attendees if they so desire a copy. They’ll be making slices for International Day of People with Disability this year and I know they will feel proud of their work,” she said.

Carinity Communities – Fassifern is a community centre and a disability support service which offers day and overnight respite care for people with disability, and also teaches independent living skills.

But social inclusion is paramount to making someone feel a part of the community they live in, Leanne stressed.

“Carinity Communities – Fassifern is the real heartbeat of the community here in Boonah and the fact that the Day Respite and Overnight Accommodation are located right beside the community centre also provides lots of opportunities for social interaction. The weekly barbeque in particular really promotes inclusiveness as it attracts people from all over the community,” she said.

Caring Staff at Fassifern are dedicated to changing lives for the better and go out of their way to support clients in achieving their goals.

These goals can vary depending on the level of disability involved but could include learning skills in computers, literacy, cooking, budgeting, meal planning and other training courses and could also involve working in the community in a voluntary capacity.

Leanne said that learning a new skill or doing voluntary work can give clients a great sense of self worth and these new skills can also improve their quality of life.

“This year is the 21st birthday of celebrating International Day of People with Disability, so just as we celebrate days for farmers, mothers, fathers etc it’s important to acknowledge folk living with a disability and their value as individuals as well as community members,” Leanne concluded.

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