A NEW weekly program will launch to support and boost Wimmera residents who live with a disability.
Grampians DisAbility Advocacy will launch a Horsham based Independent Pathways and Living Skills on Wednesday, February 24, following their earlier launch in Ararat.
The Independent Pathways and Living Skills group is a free program open to all people with disabilities over 18 and runs each Wednesday at the Horsham Neighbourhood House.
Project manager Carol Starkey said the program is about fostering skills for autonomy for persons with disabilities.
"Especially after COVID, people with a disability are often very set in their activities, so they potentially live with the same people they socialise with," she said.
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"We want to build a better connection for them to their local community so they feel safer and more empowered to become a really involved member of the community.
"They can look at volunteer opportunities or potential paid employment, go to the neighbourhood house, libraries, and feel better catching public transport.
"Looking at some basic life skills, always with a focus on human rights."
The program will provide participants guides to life skills such as finding a place to rent, managing money, and basic first aid.
Before the program begins, participants will have a chance to chat with the facilitator to discuss what they want to gain from the group.
We want to build a better connection for them to their local community so they feel safer and more empowered to become a really involved member of the community.
The program aims to share, learn, grow, connect and make new friendships and build self-esteem and confidence.
The funding for the program came from the NDIS' Independent, Linkages and Capacity grant.
"Participants do not need to have an NDIS package. You just need to organise your own travel, carers and lunch," Ms Starkey said.
The Grampians DisAbility Advocacy received funding in 2019 and was set to launch in February 2020; however, the COVID-19 delayed plans by 12 months.
The program will be ongoing across the next three years.
"The program was actually meant to start last Wednesday but we had to delay everything a week due to the snap lockdown," Ms Starkey said.
Warracknabeal will be launching a similar program in a few weeks.
To participate, contact Grampians DisAbility Advocacy Ararat office on 1800 552 272.
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