Family getaway strengthens connections

By Luisa Bustos, 30 April 2018 , Comments

When Jo read about a getaway for families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with a child with disability, she thought the weekend would be a good opportunity for her family of five to spend some time together away from home.

The weekend turned out to be so much more for everyone, especially Jo’s nine-year-old son Noah who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

“We’ve gone away together as a family, but this time around, because we were able to have people to look after Noah, we were able to enjoy each other’s company and meet other families while Noah was being looked after by wonderful people. He was also getting special treatment and was really loving that,” Jo says.

“Northcott support workers were absolutely amazing and did a fantastic job in caring for Noah, which made our stay extra special.”

The camp was hosted by Northcott using funding from the Cumberland Council’s Stronger Communities Fund and was held over a weekend in March. Children and adults had the opportunity to participate in fun outdoor activities together. Informative sessions were also held for parents, while their children were cared for by Northcott support workers.

Jo says the weekend appealed to her as a way to meet other families. She also liked that it was targeting families from an Arabic speaking background and other cultures.

“We are a very close family and are very involved with family, but not so much with the [Arabic] community. This was something different,” she says, adding that she even re-connected with two former school friends from 20 years ago who were also at the camp.

“I was able to talk and catch-up and they gave me a lot of insights and were a lot of help. We exchanged numbers so it was good.”

Having found out about the camp through Noah’s school, Jo says she was aware of Northcott, but didn’t know much about the services offered. She was impressed by the support workers and the information and advice provided in the parent sessions.

“I did get a lot of insight from the support workers at the camp. The parent sessions were very informative and we were able to take away some very important information,” she says.

In terms of the family activities, Jo and the rest of her family made the most of what was on offer, including participating in activities they had never done before.

“The reptile show was fantastic. My husband and I also enjoyed canoeing with Noah. We’ve never done that before and Noah loved it. We also did archery – that was really fun. My older boys did the flying fox, the slide, and also the canoeing,” she says.

“Thank you for a wonderful experience and for allowing my family to spend quality time with each other.”

Northcott’s CALD Camp was proudly funded by NSW Government Stronger Communities Fund Community Grants Program and Cumberland Council.

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