Students from Catholic schools across Sydney have been visiting Centacare to work alongside our employees who live with intellectual disabilities as part of our new Solidarity Program.
Centacare provides meaningful employment, training and social opportunities for adults with a disability. This year, almost 250 high school students, have enjoyed the experience of spending ‘a day in the life of’ the employees.
Students spend half of their day led by their Centacare buddy to perform daily packing and assembly tasks, while chatting and learning about each other’s lives. The other half of their day is spent participating in an independent living session where they join employees to prepare basic meals or practice how to iron clothing.
Throughout the day students develop a greater understanding and appreciation for people living with a disability, and learn just how much their workplace means to their lives.
However, the students aren’t the only ones who benefit from the Solidarity experience. Centacare manager Bradley Burridge has noticed a significant increase in the employees’ energy and happiness since the program began.
“The employees really enjoy meeting new people and spending time with the students in
their workplace environment - where they feel comfortable and confident. They love showing
them what they do every day.
“The Solidarity Program has really lifted their spirits. Each time a school spends a day at the
centre, they are talking about the conversations and interactions for days after.”
After the student’s day at Centacare, they register for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival to then walk alongside the employees at the event and fundraise to support Centacare – the workplace that means so much to them.
This year through the Blackmores Running Festival we aim to raise $40,000 for Centacare. If you would like to help us reach our goal, please make a donation online at www.bsrf.grassrootz.com/catholiccare.