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Mar 21, 2024

Supporting Greg to come out of his shell

Life Skills News

About Greg

Greg is a proud Aboriginal man with a great sense of humour and easy-going character.

“He’s a very funny fellow,” says Mark, one of Northcott’s support workers. “I enjoy his humour. He’s very easy to get along with and he has a loving nature.

When I first met Greg, he had a tendency to stay by himself as much as possible. Over the years, however, he’s gradually learnt to mingle in, particularly enjoying the group activities like ten pin bowling. He appreciates the social time with the other customers.

Mark, Tamworth Support Worker.

Greg has limited verbal communication. He uses a communication board on his wheelchair to interact with his support workers and others around him.

“If he needs to go the toilet, he’s able to point at that symbol on the communication board. Or if he wants a cup of tea, he’ll come to one of us to ask us to make a cup of tea,” Mark says.

Supporting Greg

Mark has worked at Northcott for 6 years, supporting Greg on and off at the Life Skills centre over that time. He’s developed a special rapport with Greg.

“Greg has several support workers assisting him. We do his personal care and take him out on activities that the group gets up to. For instance, on Tuesdays, he often goes to the bowling centre,” says Mark.

“He also joins in other programs, and we try to incorporate activities he enjoys, such as cooking.”

Greg’s NDIS funding allows for some one-on-one support so during these shifts he is supported to do more tasks by himself, such as making his own lunches.

At the moment, the team is working with a Physiotherapist to help Greg build more physical strength in his upper body and arms.

Greg also enjoys staying at Northcott respite house in Tamworth, where he spends time away from his usual routine. These short stays are a good opportunity for Greg’s carers and family to take a break from their caring responsibilities.

Man supporting man with disability to cook food independently using electric stove.

Nurturing Greg’s connection to his culture

Greg’s Aboriginal culture is important to him. Our team in Tamworth works hard to ensure he can stay connected to the local Aboriginal community. Greg is supported to participate in group programs at the Life Skills centre to build his Aboriginal skills and knowledge. Additionally, our support workers take Greg to Aboriginal activities in the community, including NAIDOC Week events.

“Greg has a very strong bond with his Aboriginal community. We’ll take him out in Tamworth and you’ll see him talking to other Aboriginal people. They have a very strong rapport with him,” says Greg.

“We always try to nurture that for him and to incorporate as many Aboriginal activities as possible to grow his knowledge.”

Man in wheelchair accompanied by man walking

A final word from Mark

“Greg seems to really appreciate Northcott. He gets along very well with all the staff and we all absolutely love him! As I say he’s a real character!

“Occasionally, he’ll come out with very humorous responses and if he sees the funny side of something, he’ll use the phrase “Oh my god!” and touch his head. He loves to have a joke with people. That’s one of the things the staff love about him!

Life Skills Tamworth

Accessibility and Inclusivity

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

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