Albany customer Helen’s kicking her goals whilst helping out her friends

Long-time Albany customer Helen continues to try new things and increase her independence with the help of her Activ support staff, including support worker Teresa!

Helen is a former supported employee at Activ in Albany, and Helen’s mum was instrumental in the opening of the still-running Activ Albany Op Shop. Now that Helen’s retired from work, she’s turned her focus to expanding her skillset in the kitchen and learning how to look after her home independently.

“I live in my unit and get help from support workers every day”, said Helen, who accesses Activ’s accommodation drop-in supports.

For the last 2.5 years, Helen has been increasing her independence in the home, where she can now clean her house and do the washing by herself. Helen has also become a keen cook, and works with her support staff to follow recipes to make delicious meals!

Recently, when some of Activ Albany’s customers and staff were isolating with COVID-19, Helen sprung into action and cooked them all some soup.

“I like to help people,” said Helen. “I have more to learn but recently I made some scones. I like making cakes too.”

Helen’s also learning more about composting and recycling. As a bit of a creative, Helen uses old magazines to make artistic collages, where she’s now diligent about recycling any bits of paper that don’t make it into her pieces.

Helen works with her fantastic Activ support worker Teresa to do her shopping and access the wonderful community she has in Albany. Blessed with some of WA’s best beaches, Helen and Teresa often go for walks along the beach where Helen can collect shells for her home.

“I’ve been supporting Helen for about 5 years now,” said Teresa. “It’s amazing how far she’s come – I’m really proud of her.”

Teresa’s favourite part about being a support worker?“I love the goals and the achievements. I love ringing my team leader up and saying ‘I’ve got the best job ever’ – which I do.”

Helen’s other support workers, Erica and Kellie, are currently working with Helen to support her to learn how to independently catch public transport, a goal she’s super close to reaching! Teresa’s also working with Helen to budget for an upcoming holiday to Perth.

“I want to come to Perth to see my cousin and go to AQUA! I’d like to touch the fish near the jetty,” said Helen.

According to Helen, the best part about being an Activ customer is all the people she’s met, from her friends at work to her support staff, and of course her partner John.

Albany team leader Fiona has watched Helen thrive with Activ’s support.

“It’s our value – Listening Loudly – bringing it back to that person centred-ness for Helen, which has been really key in providing opportunities for her to thrive and flourish so much. And her confidence has just grown too, which is fantastic,” said Fiona.

Are you looking for support to access your community and learn new skills? Get in touch today!