Sarah’s path to independent living

Sarah applied for NDIS funding with a clear goal to move out of the family home and live independently. “It was time I had my own space,” said Sarah. “It’s important for my health and wellbeing to live independently”.

Sarah worked closely with her long-time support worker, Sheeta, at Centacare HAND Social and Life Skills Hub, to achieve her goal. Today, she happily shares a Supported Independent Living (SIL) house at Wooloowin.

Sarah and Sheeta used Sarah’s weekly 1:1 sessions to research SIL houses. Sarah made many of the phone calls herself and tried her best to handle the conversations. They spent time developing the skills Sarah would need to live independently including budgeting, scheduling appointments, time management, planning healthy meals, cooking, travelling, grocery shopping and house-keeping.

Sarah and her support worker Sheeta

Sarah said she was full of confidence by the time it came to move out of home. “It was a big change for me but I wasn’t worried at all,” she said. “Sheeta helped me find a good place to live and I worked hard to learn the skills I would need”.

Sarah has been ticking off goals for many years. Centacare supported Sarah to secure a volunteer position with a radio station. Sarah started out in a promotions role, putting merchandise packs together. With the support of Centacare, Sarah developed her computer skills and has now progressed to an administration role.

Sarah working on her computer skills at Centacare HAND Social and Life Skills Hub.

Sarah’s support worker Sheeta said Sarah had overcome her shyness and grown in many areas. “Sarah has made real life changes and pushed herself outside her comfort zone to gain independence,” said Sheeta. “She is a role model for her peers and I could not be prouder”.

Sarah’s achievements were recognised when she accepted the Harry Cusack Award at the 2019 Centacare HAND Awards in November. Harry Cusack was a foundation member of Centacare HAND who achieved incredible things by stepping outside his comfort zone.

Find out more about our social and life skills hubs here.