Centre aims to provide a bright future

Eyre Futures at Ceduna is hoping to expand services at its ‘day option centre’ which has been in operation this year.

The access centre is open for people funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to engage in a range of daily activities or social participation.

The centre is equipped with a kitchen, training room, activity area and garden, where participants can get involved in activities such as arts and crafts, games, cooking, sewing and gardening.

Having received a grant to get the centre up and running, Eyre Futures manager Jill Coates said there had been a great community response in the initial period.

“It has been well-received and we have had a lot of people come in,” she said.

“The aim of the centre is fourfold – we want to work with participants to improve their daily living skills towards independence if possible; we offer a space to socialise and enhance participation; we develop skills with short courses; and we develop social enterprise, which could develop employ-ability skills.”

Eyre Futures is a not-for-profit organisation based in Ceduna, Port Lincoln and Whyalla, with a core purpose to build individual and community capacity.

Staff work to support individuals and try to empower them by brokering training and develop employability skills.

They are involved with programs such as helping people obtain their learners’ driving licence, have a volunteer driver training program and they help participants access training and courses.

Ms Coates said an example of this was Ceduna staff member Deb Goode currently assisting Reece Nicholls to get his forklift licence.

“This started as a way to help people transition from school to work life, but two years ago we could see that the services we provide could translate to people with disabilities,” Ms Coates said.

“NDIS funds the assistance people require to function better, and we help people understand the NDIS and develop their goals.

“We are not registered for high-complex needs support, but can help to assist and improve daily living skills, we can help people find a job, help with their social and community participation and improve learning.”

The organisation hopes to grow opportunities at the Ceduna Access Centre, which is currently open from Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 3pm.

Ms Coates said the positive uptake in the initial period of the centre would have to continue to maintain the service.

“We want participants to drive the agenda, it is their facility and we want to know what they want,” she said.

“We had an initial period of grant funding to help establish the centre, but if it isn’t used then we would have close it.

“If people don’t know the centre exists it might not be written into their [NDIS] plans.”

Eyre Futures Ceduna will host an open day at the centre, at 37 East Terrace, on International Disability Day on Monday, December 3 from 10am to 3pm, giving the community a chance to view the centre and see the range of activities and services on offer.

“People can come in and have a look, we would love to hear from the community and participants to know what they want from the centre,” Ms Coates said.

“We can open on other days if there is a need.

“We could cater for students after school, or perhaps on Saturdays and school holidays – let us know.”