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Volunteering with a Disability: Pride in a job well done

The first thing you’ll notice about Emma is her infectious smile, and nothing makes her smile more than working as a volunteer. Living with cerebral palsy means that Emma faces daily challenges, but she tackles them all with determination and courage. We’d like to share her story and how Mercy Community supported Emma with finding her perfect place in the workforce and in the community.

The background

Our Support Coordination team worked tirelessly to find a role that would provide Emma with the rewarding career she desired and deserved. Emma wanted a place where she could work with like-minded people and contribute to her local community. After learning of Emma’s passion for books and storytelling the team thought they had found her perfect role – working part time at the local library. Although she enjoyed the job, Emma still felt like she had more to offer. As her confidence increased, she was ready to take on a full-time role, where she could apply her growing skillset. As you can imagine, everyone who attends the community centre welcomes the chance to engage with her.

How did Mercy Community help/support?

Mercy Community strives for the best possible outcomes for everyone we support, and we were determined to find the most fulfilling role for Emma – and then we found it! What better way for Emma to help the community than by volunteering at the local Community Centre – Emma was over the moon. She now feels more connected than ever to the people around her and loves that no two days are ever the same.

There was one last hurdle facing Emma – her commute. The only available taxi service was in high demand and would often make her late for work and appointments, which if you knew Emma, you’d know that’s the last thing she’d want. The Support Coordination team were there to connect her with a taxi service that could accommodate her needs, and her desire to always be on time. Now she’s ready for work well before the car arrives and is often one of the first people at the centre each morning. Not only because she doesn’t like to keep people waiting, but because she can’t wait to start work each day.

Emma’s role at the Community Information Centre in Townsville involves cleaning the books when they arrive and gluing in the labels ready for processing. Emma finds time to add books to the shelves, ready for their next reader, checking the mail and shredding. Emma joins a team of 5 other staff on her Wednesday shift and is a valuable team member. Her teammates love working with her and watching her confidence grow and grow.

The Outcome

When Emma first started her role with the Community Information Centre, she was quite shy. Now, she greets everyone, asks how they are and introduces her carer to everyone on arrival. She’s also mastered directing her carer to the tasks she needs to do and where she needs assistance.

Now, with an increased sense of purpose and identity, she is one of the few people in the world who actually loves getting ready for work. Laying out her name badge and uniform each night, looking forward to the next day filled with working with her friends and helping those around her. As a valued member of her community Emma feels a sense of pride when she dons her uniform. Knowing that she’s able to bring a smile to those around her and help them with any questions they may have. Being part of the community centre team means that she has earnt additional responsibilities, respect, and even a ticket to last year’s Christmas Party.

We look forward to sharing in Emma’s journey and offering her support whenever and wherever she needs it.

As a registered NDIS provider, we offer a wide range of services to help support you and the people you care for. Find out more about our Disability Supports here or send an enquiry to our team below.

Contact our Disability Supports team today!

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