Isaac and his mates head to Sydney independently

Isaac commenced with Mai-Wel in 2015 with a strong desire to build his confidence, meet new people and discover some new interests.

To help Isaac meet these goals he began supports with The Hub. These supports included evening social activities, weekend supports and individual 1:1 supports which were tailored to his interest in music and extended outings to places outside of Isaac’s local area.

Isaacs’s goals very quickly developed as he built strong, positive relationships with The Hub’s staff, who encouraged him to step outside his comfort zone. This motivated Isaac to take on bigger challenges, like travelling to Sydney. In order to work towards this goal, Isaac used his NDIS funding for social and community access for his support worker to work closely with him and his family on making this happen.

Planning for Isaac was very important, as it would ensure he would know exactly what was going to occur on the day and when, as well as what to do if something didn’t go to plan.

With his supports, Isaac caught the train to Sydney on quite a few occasions and learnt many skills, experienced new things and after each trip he would often discuss the desire to one day make the journey to Sydney by himself.

However, COVID-19 put a temporary stop to Isaac’s planning and like everyone, a lot of time was spent indoors and away from the people we care most about. For Isaac, this was time away from his friends, hobbies and social networks.

Heading into 2021, Isaac took it upon himself, with the help of some friends, to finally plan that trip to Sydney independently. This was a fantastic outcome for Isaac, who strongly felt that he was more than capable to make the trip after all the support he had received and the skills he learnt. When speaking with Isaac about if he thought the supports he has received previously helped him to get to this point of doing this trip his response was, “oh for sure! It definitely helped me!”

Isaac spoke with his friends who were also keen to do this trip with him. For around 2 weeks they researched, planned and communicated with one another the things they wanted to do during the day. Their itinerary included an early start, train transfers, using the ferry to get them across to Manly and back to the CBD, accessing the light rail and organising lunch at their favorite Asian food. It was a jam packed adventure!

Isaac said he had very little worries about navigating around the city independently using public transport. Although he was slightly nervous, he was reassured by the planning that was done in advance to the trip. Isaac feels this is because of the confidence and knowledge he had gained from previous supports.

Isaac and his friends are planning to organise another trip very soon!

Isaac’s parents have watched how his confidence has changed after attending Mai-Wel over the years.

“We are so pleased with all the progress Isaac has made over the years of support with Mai-Wel. We are so happy to see he is finally becoming a bit more independent. With the ongoing support from his support workers at the teams at Mai-Wel, he will only get better with it all!”

Other goals Isaac has achieved during his time with Mai-Wel includes employment, gaining his license, learning to sing, play guitar and perform live on stage at our local Live and Loud events. Isaac is absolutely nailing it!

For more information about the supports on offer at The Hub in Maitland to help build skills, social connection and have fun, contact the Mai-Wel Support Transition and Referral Team on 4057 2900 or start@maiwel.com.au.

Pictured: Isaac took his pictures all along his journey, taking the train to and around Sydney, going across the Harbour and getting a great view of the Opera House! 

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