THANKS to previous grants awarded to the Grampians disAbility Advocacy in 2019, the organisation has been able to successfully deliver the first round of the Pathways and Life Skills (I-PaLS) program.
One of the largest grants GdA has ever received was the 2019 $1.4 million grant for information, linkages and capacity building for peer to peer support.
GdA executive officer Deb Verdon said it was an enormous effort getting I-PaLS off the ground during a pandemic.
"Credit goes to our project manager and project officers for persevering with the launch of I-PaLS under such difficult circumstances," Ms Verdon said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"So far almost 50 participants have benefited from the rollout, with many more to come over the next few years."
The second semester will be begin late July to early August, but the first semester of the program has positively impacted many of the participants.
Project manager Carol Starkey said the program has seen some very successful outcomes.
"One participant started and was very closed off," Ms Starkey said.
"It was through their artwork we saw change, it went from very dark to light.
"They've now got paid employment eight hours a week."
Ms Starkey also said that participants formed friendship groups so they could move beyond the support group and reconnect to the community.
The I-PaLS program provided training, mentoring and peer support activities that connected people with their local communities. Topics covered included financial literacy, job readiness, maintaining physical and mental health, interpersonal skills, supported decision-making and human rights.
Programs will run at Darley Neighbourhood House and Learning Centre, Haddon Community Learning Centre, Stawell Health and Community Centre, St Arnaud Neighbourhood House, Edenhope Community Centre and Nhill Learning Centre.
Participants do not have to have an NDIS package to take part in I-PaLS which is delivered free of charge.
Enrolments for semester two are now open. For information contact GdA on 1800 552 272.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: