Our school holiday programs are a great way to explore new activities – as well as offering valuable respite for parents and carers. In this week’s Community Programs blog, Community Support Officer Beth Stone reflects on how the Mandurah School Holiday Program has helped little Aliya and her mum relax and have fun!
Aliya is a very happy, bubbly young girl who attends Workpower’s School Holiday Program in Mandurah.
In the July school holidays, Aliya has shown us all down south why we do the work we do.
After taking this photo I knew this would be my good news story.
Aliya needs assistance with every aspect of her daily life, from walking, to being pushed in a pram, to eating. Aliya’s mum, Martina, has been blessed with a second daughter 7 months ago and is an extremely busy mum.
The family live in Pinjarra, and at this stage Martina does not drive and is very isolated – so you can imagine the difficulties facing this mum of 2 beautiful little girls. In the past the family were only able to access funding for 1 day of school holiday supports, however, with the WA NDIS now in the Pinjarra area, Martina and Aliya now have funding for 3 days of support each holiday, and do not need to worry about their future support budget.
I spoke to Martina about what attending the program means to her and Aliya.
‘As you can imagine, Aliya can only crawl and pull herself on to furniture, so she is into everything all the time. I am constantly clearing up all the stuff she is getting into – I feel like all I do is clean!
‘With Aliya going out with Workpower, I am getting a break a chance to stop and breathe.
‘I do not have a driver’s license, but I am learning to drive when I have time, so it is still a while away.
‘It is a relief knowing that Aliya is getting a chance to get out of the house over the holidays and make friends with children her own age.
‘She is able to have a go at activities I cannot take her to at the moment, like the movies and Inflatable World. She was very tired today when she got home, she must have had a great time.
‘It is also giving me a chance to have quality time with her little sister.’
In addition to learning to drive, Martina is hoping to be able to go out and make some new networks for herself in the near future.
When we attended Inflatable World, Aliya was wide eyed looking at all the different bouncy castles. The first one she went into was the Princess Castle – very fitting for this young girl.
With help from her Community Support Officer Erika, Aliya was able to get into the castle, climb up the small ladder to the top and go down the slide. The smile and laughter coming from Aliya was so infectious! She is not able to verbally communicate with us, but her smile and laughter were all we needed.
After looking around at the other castles, the staff at Inflatable World helped us to free up one of the bigger slides. With the help of Erika and another Community Support Officer, Aliya made the long climb to the top and came whizzing down the larger slide to people clapping – Aliya smiling and giggling the whole way down.
Our School Holiday Programs run throughout Perth and Mandurah, and are available to children and young people age 7 – 17. In termtime, our Community Programs team offer supports and respite services that suit your needs. Call 1800 610 665 today to see what we can do for you!