Proving you can do it
“Without Northcott, my life would be totally different. I’d probably still be at home every day, not looking for jobs or learning how to cook or look after myself.”
Twenty-one-year-old Susu has a rare disability which causes weakness in her bones and stiffness in her joints. She struggles to walk long distances because her legs and feet are weak and she can’t dress herself or wash her hair. Despite the challenges her condition places on her, Susu is determined to one day move out of home, learn to drive and get a job. She is participating in Northcott’s Vocational Skills and Everyday Life Skills programs at our Casula office to work towards achieving these goals.
“My condition limits me in what I can and can't do,” she explains. “I struggle with my upper body. Most of the time, I can’t dress myself. I can’t even put my socks on because my hands are too weak.”
Susu has attended Northcott’s Vocational Skills program for three years – from the time she left high school. This year, her motivation to grow her independence was a driving force behind the introduction of a new Everyday Life Skills program in Casula.
Susu goes to Vocational Skills three times a week and Everyday Life Skills twice a week. “At Vocational Skills, everyday we learn about all different things to help with finding and keeping a job. We’ve learnt about interviews, how to dress for interviews and how to ask questions in interviews.
“At Everyday Life Skills, the staff helped me learn to travel on my own via public transport. They’ve taught me how to cook, how to use the washing machine and the dryer. They’ve taught me how to seek help if I need it, for example, for mental health.”
Susu says with Northcott’s support she is learning skills she wouldn’t otherwise be able to learn at home or by herself, giving her a great sense of self achievement and the confidence to work towards other goals for her future.
“I’m really proud of learning travel training. I've been told that I couldn't do it, but I proved them wrong and I can do it. That was a really good feeling,” she says.
“I feel a lot more confident than when I was at school. I have come a long way ever since I started here, mental health wise, and physically. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for everything that you have done for me since I’ve been here.”
Read about how our partnerships are important for customers like Susu to gain job skills and experience.
This story was first published in the Northcott 2017–18 Annual Report, as our cover story.