It’s time to dig out the Christmas decorations and start planning to have some fun this festive season.
Here’s our favourite ways to celebrate:

• Shop at the community markets
• Join in the Christmas carols
• Watch a Christmas parade
• Make some crafts
• Eat some good food
• Be dazzled by Christmas light displays

Christmas activities can get busy and book out quickly, so it pays to be organised, including checking out the transport or parking options to make sure it stays a fun activity!

Here are a couple of tips to help you enjoy the activities;

1. Get to the parades early so you can get a good spot, & don’t forget something a cushion or rug to sit on and some chalk to draw on the road.
2. For the carols, make sure you bring a jacket as it can get cold, plus take something to sit on.
3. Christmas crafts & workshops are a wonderful way to join in the Christmas fun, meet new people and make something special.
4. Share a meal with someone you care about or join in a community cooking class.
5. Community markets are a great spot to purchase something nice for yourself or a loved one, make sure you write a list of who you would like to buy presents for.
6. It can be nice to walk about the streets where the Christmas light displays are, if you drive you may be hurried along, plus the display homes can often give out candy cane lollies!

Ready to join in?

1. Pick an activity or two from the calendar.
2. Make plans to join in the activity & let us know if our peer mentoring program can help make this happen.

Looking for something else?

Tell us how you’d like to celebrate Christmas this year & we’ll see how we can support you.
If we missed an activity, we’d love to hear how you like to celebrate? Send an email to hello@strongandcapable.com.au

 

Photo credit: City of Adelaide

In the journey of personal development, finding the right support system can be the key to unlocking your full potential. One powerful way to achieve personal growth is through participating in a peer mentoring program. These programs offer a blend of guidance, friendship, and shared experiences that can lead to positive changes in your life. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the benefits of participating in a mentoring program.

  1. New outlook

One of the main reasons to participate in peer mentoring is the opportunity to gain a new outlook. When you connect with peers from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, you open yourself up to a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that you might not encounter otherwise. This new outlook can help you see the world in new ways, supporting personal growth and improving your problem-solving skills.

2. Responsibility and Goal Setting

In a peer mentoring program, you can set goals and work towards them with the support and encouragement of your peers. This built-in accountability can be a powerful motivator to help you stay on track and achieve your personal and professional objectives. Knowing that others are counting on you can boost your commitment and determination.

3. Constructive Input

Constructive input is essential for personal development, but it can sometimes be difficult to obtain from friends and family who may be too close to the you. In a peer mentoring program, you can expect honest feedback from your peers. They can provide you with valuable insights, helping you identify areas for improvement and the path to achieve this.

4. Skill Development

Whether you’re looking to make new connections, improve your communication abilities, or learn new skills, a peer mentoring program can be a useful tool. Peers can share their knowledge and expertise, offer guidance, and even provide hands-on training. The opportunity to be exposed to different skill sets will support your personal and professional growth.

5. Emotional Support

Personal development isn’t just about gaining new skills; it’s also about emotional well-being. Peer mentoring programs offer a safe and supportive environment where you can share your challenges, fears, and successes. This emotional support can help reduce stress, boost self-confidence, and provide a sense of belonging.

6. Grow your community

Participating in a peer mentoring program can also expand your social network. The connections you make within the program can lead to new experiences and friendships. Engaging with others is an essential part of personal development, as it opens doors to new experiences and possibilities.

Participating in a peer mentoring program can be a life-changing experience. The benefits, ranging from new perspectives and accountability to constructive input and emotional support, make these programs invaluable tools for personal development. If you’re looking to enhance your personal and professional growth, consider joining a peer mentoring program. You’ll not only grow as an individual but also contribute to the growth of your peers, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and support.

Ready to join a Peer Mentoring Program – check out the details here.

Below is the easy-read version of the blog.

Download the non easy-read version here: Why Support Coordination Is Key To Maximising An NDIS Plan

 

This blog is written by Kym Mercer.

Kym works as a NDIS Support Coordinator.

A Support Coordinator is someone who knows a lot about the NDIS and they have skills to help people to have the best NDIS plan.

Kym is also a Board Member of the Strong & Capable Cooperative.

A Board is the group of people who lead an organisation.

You can download our Easy Read version Below.

 

START.

 

When the NDIS started about 10 years ago, people were feeling happy because it meant people with disability would have more choice about the things they needed.

It also meant that people with disability could have better lives.

A lot of great things have happened since the NDIS started.

Also, some bad things have happened which have made it hard for people with disability.

The NDIS was reviewed to see how well it was doing and lots of people with disability gave their feedback.

Many people with disability said that the NDIS was hard to access and understand.

People with disability also said that things did not happen quickly enough.

You can read more about this review here: National disability insurance scheme confusing and causing some to miss out on support, review finds | National disability insurance scheme | The Guardian.

The NDIA have said that only 70 percent of people with disability on NDIS plans are spending all the money in their plan.

You can read more about this here: Annual Report | NDIS

Kym believes the reason why people do not spend all the money in their plan is because it is very hard to understand what the NDIS will let people buy with the money they have been given.

 

WHAT CAN PEOPLE SPEND THEIR PLAN MONEY ON?

The NDIS uses the words ‘reasonable and necessary’ when making an NDIS plan.

Reasonable and necessary means what types and level of support you need.

Kym knows that many people find these words confusing.

When someone in the NDIS attends a planning meeting, it is worked out what is reasonable and necessary.

People with disability need to provide evidence to show what supports they need.

Some things the NDIA Planner may think about when creating a plan include:

The NDIS plan will list the supports that the person with disability can get but there is no information on how the money can be spent.

This makes it hard for the person on the NDIS plan to know if they can buy something, like services or equipment, with their NDIS plan money.

Many people on NDIS plans feel worried that they might have to pay back money if they buy the wrong thing.

 

IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET HELP

Many people on NDIS plans feel stressed about how to manage their plan and spend their money.

Getting help can make things better.

Many people ask family and friends to help them with their plan.

This is fine but sometimes they do not know enough about the NDIS to help make changes.

A Support Coordinator can help.

Support Coordinators can help people on an NDIS plan to spend their money on the correct services, equipment and support.

Support Coordinators can help with:

 

PAYING FOR SUPPORT COORDINATORS

The NDIS can pay for Support Coordinators if it is in the NDIS plan.

People need to show how Support Coordination will help them to achieve their goals and to become more independent.

Independent means doing things by yourself with a little bit or no help.

A Support Coordinator may be needed for a short time or a long time.

Having a Support Coordinator will mean people can have the best possible NDIS plan.

Below is the easy-read version of the blog.

Download the non easy-read version here: How to choose the right NDIS service provider (1)

 

This blog is written by Kym Mercer.

Kym works as a NDIS Support Coordinator.

A Support Coordinator is someone who knows a lot about the NDIS and they have skills to help people to have the best NDIS plan.

Kym is also a Board Member of the Strong & Capable Cooperative.

A Board is the group of people who lead an organisation.

 

START.

The NDIS started in 2013.

Since then, many more service providers have become available for people with disability.

A service provider is a person or organisation that provides help and support to people with disability.

The number of registered service providers is about 20,000.

A registered service provider is one that must pass some tests set by the NDIA that are checked by a special person called an auditor.

This is about 18,000 more than before the NDIS started.

This is both a good and bad thing for people with disability.

The good thing is that people with disability have more choices of service providers.

The bad thing is that not all service providers are able to help people with disability in the way they say they will.

This means that sometimes people may not get a good service.

We have some tips to help you find the best service provider.

 

TIPS ON HOW TO FIND A SERVICE PROVIDER

1. Write down what you need

2. Find out if you need help

You can read more about Support Coordinators.

3. Find out as much information as you can

4. Find out if they are qualified for what you need

Qualified means to have the correct levels of skills and knowledge to provide a service.

5. Find out how much it will cost

6. Is the service provider right for you?

Before you start with a service provider it is important to have a service agreement.

Finding the right service provider does not have to be hard.

You can ask your support coordinator, or the NDIA for help.

Strong & Capable can also provide you with help.

Below is the easy-read version of the blog.

Download the non easy-read version here: Five tips to get the most out of your NDIS plan

 

This blog is written by Kym Mercer.

Kym works as a NDIS Support Coordinator.

A Support Coordinator is someone who knows a lot about the NDIS and they have skills to help people to have the best NDIS plan.

Kym is also a Board Member of the Strong & Capable Cooperative.

A Board is the group of people who lead an organisation.

 

START.

The NDIS started in 2013.

It has been getting bigger every year.

The NIDS now helps more than 400,000 people with disability.

One third of these people are receiving support for the very first time.

The NDIS is very good for many people in Australia.

It provides more choice for people with disability.

But one problem is that not all NDIS plans are being completely used.

Only about 70 percent of people with NDIS plans are spending all the money that they get for their plan.

People might not be spending all their plan money because:

A service provider is a person or organisation that provides help and support to people with disability.

 

Kym thinks that people with disability can use their NDIS plan properly if they have the right information.

Kym says the system is hard to understand.

Kym also says that people do not know how to have the best NDIS plan and that they can sometimes be disappointed.

Kym believes that sharing information with others who already are involved in the NDIS may help.

Here are some tips to help you have the best NDIS Plan.

 

1. Be ready for your first planning meeting

 

2. Think about how you want your plan managed

1. The NDIA manage your plan for you.

This means that you do not have to pay anyone for the services you receive.

You have less choice in which service provider you can use.

You can only see service providers who are registered with the NDIS.

2. Somebody manages your plan for you

This means you have someone else who does not work for the NDIA pay the bills for the services you use.

You can use both registered and unregistered NDIS service providers.

A registered provider is one that must pass some tests set by the NDIA that are checked by a special person called an auditor.

An unregistered provider is someone who chooses not to take these tests but that does not mean the support they provide is not as good as a registered provider.

You can receive money from the NDIA to pay for someone to manage the plan for you.

3. You manage your plan by yourself

This means you look after everything for your plan.

You choose your service providers.

You pay for your service providers

You can use whoever you like.

You get more choice with this option, but it is also the most amount of work.

 

 

3. A Support Coordinator can help

If your plan is too hard to manage because of all the services you get, or if you manage your plan by yourself, you can get help from a Support Coordinator.

A Support Coordinator can help you to find the best service providers so that you can achieve your goals. You can learn more about Support Coordinators here.

A Support Coordinator can help you to feel more confident with your NDIS plan.

 

4. Choose the right service providers

The most important part of your plan is making sure you have the best service providers for you.

You can check to see if the service provider is the best one for you by:

It is a good idea to set up a service agreement with your service provider.

A service agreement sets out the roles and responsibilities that you and your service provider agree on.

You can read more about choosing the right service provider here.

 

5. Think in a new way

A really good thing about the NDIS is that you have more choice about the way you want to receive help and support.

You can ask for exactly what you want and then have a plan created that matches what you want.

Kym thinks it is very important not to be afraid of asking for exactly what you want.

Kym said working with a Support Coordinator can be very helpful to find new and different ways to get your support services.

The NDIS can help you to live the life you want to live.

If you are not happy with your current plan or want help with your next plan, make sure you talk to your support network or providers.

Strong & Capable can also provide you with help.

 

 

 

 

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