Centacare Industries provides meaningful work for people living with intellectual disabilities and currently employs approximately 60 supported employees. After New Year, Centacare normally shut its doors to give employees a well deserved break. However this year employees were given the opportunity to join an inaugural holiday program to bring more life to their leave!
The Holiday Program is a new initiative designed to take the stress off carers and parents during the period and provide an avenue for employees to learn valuable life skills in a fun and inclusive environment that they feel comfortable in.
The three week program offered participants a different activity each day fulfilling a variety of life skill requirements. Centacare Manager Brad Burridge describes the program as a huge success with 78% of the total workforce taking up the opportunity.
For the supported employees of Centacare Industries, their work plays a significant role in their lives. It provides purpose, consistency through routine, and friendships, which means time off from work can sometimes be stressful and difficult for them. The Holiday Program provided an avenue to socialise with their colleagues outside of the work environment while learning valuable life skills that will help them in the future.
“The cost of the program was able to be included in the employees’ NDIS plans, and they were given so many essential experiences to help them build their confidence and independence with things such as cooking, budgeting, using public transport and much more!” says Brad.
Activities ranged from catching the ferry to Manly with lunch on the beach, AMF Bowling including catching public transport to and from the venue, building a vegetable garden on site (that employees will continue to nurture throughout the year), cooking classes including how to make a list of ingredients and go shopping for them, and concluded at the end of the three weeks with a talent quest to showcase each individual’s creativity.
There was an overwhelming response from the parents, carers and participants regarding the program’s benefits for employees.
“I really liked the cooking and I’d like more chances to cook and be able to do everything from chopping the food to cooking the meat. I would like to do more craft things, especially things like card making and working on my handwriting and letters. I really liked the holiday program, I just didn’t like getting travel sickness” says participant Anna, Centacare Supported Employee.
The success of the 2018 program has provided great groundwork for an even better Holiday Program in 2019, and the employees can’t wait.
If you would like more information about Centacare Industries please visit www.catholiccare.org