Making a house a home

You will often find Activ customer Jade Franz out driving her shiny white Hyundai or enjoying a cuppa at a local coffee shop while crocheting items for her nieces.

This is one of Jade’s favourite pastimes, and one she said is a long way from how her life used to be.

“I used to lock myself in my room and read books and not socialise,” she said.

The 35-year-old lives with disability, which she said would often have her overcome with anxiety. However, when she looks at how far she has come, and her life now, she feels proud.

“Activ have been really encouraging me to try new things and support me in dealing with change,” Jade shared. “They helped me move from the person I was to person I am now.”

Jade moved into her own home just over a year ago and receives drop-in supports from Activ several times a week. She also accesses Activ’s Positive Behaviour and Community Engagement supports.

“[I have] much more independence and don’t always have to rely on Mum or Dad anymore,” Jade said. “They are retired now and have a caravan and just came home from up north.”

She is forming a good relationship with her Activ support workers Hayley and Tia who come to visit four days a week.

“They help me with learning to do things right like cooking, vacuuming, and mopping.” Jade’s favourite dish to cook is spaghetti bolognese.

Moving into her new home has not only seen Jade learning new skills but she is socialising more. The layout of her home is in a group of eight, and she has enjoyed forming friendships with her neighbours, some of whom were previous friends from work.

Jade worked in Activ industrial employment for 13 years before transitioning to a job at Good Sammy in one of their southern suburbs op shops. Jade really enjoys meeting and talking to people in her new role, manning the till, and helping customers.

She plays netball with the Red Devils, enjoys catching up with family, and friends, including her old flatmate.

“My old flatmate taught me a lot of how to live in my own space and I’m getting used to it. Sometimes I get a bit nervous but I am settling in,” Jade said.

“Because of some medical conditions, it is better for me to live on my own.”

“At home, I enjoy crocheting – usually blankets, but I’m trying stress toys, gloves, and beanies too.”

“I’m working on a bedspread for my bed at the moment with lots of different colours.”

Jade said while she still has ups and downs, she is proud of how she is handling living in her own home.

“I just tell myself that Mum and Dad are always going to be there; I feel more trustworthy that I can live on my own,” she said.

“I like my own environment in the new house,” Jade said, adding that she thinks the space and support from Activ have really improved her life.