The trip of a lifetime

By Lenny Howard, 9 January 2018 , Comments

Wagga Wagga-based Northcott customer Lenny has well and truly been bitten by the travel bug. Lenny, who has always wanted to travel and catch a plane, finally got the chance last year. With a sense of adventure and a go-get attitude, it wasn’t surprising when Lenny suggested he wanted to travel to the Gold Coast for some rest and relaxation.

Northcott’s Flexible Respite service supported Lenny to plan the week-long holiday, which included his first ever plane flight, deep sea fishing, and visiting Movie World, among other activities.

Prior to his trip, Northcott has supported Lenny to get out and about in his home town and beyond, including chasing cod on the banks of the Murrumbidgee, attending his niece’s wedding and visiting the Canberra Casino. In this story, Lenny shares some of the highlights of the trip and his ambition to travel again soon.

“I travelled to the Gold Coast in June for a week. I had the best experience; I really cannot put it into words. I felt normal. I was a bachelor on a boy’s weekend away.

It was a trip of a lifetime and a lifelong goal of mine to travel. I still can’t believe I was able to fly on the plane like everyone else. I didn’t want the plane trip to end. The air hostesses were lovely and gave me extra snacks. The best part was taking off and landing.

The accommodation was like a holiday within itself. It had everything I needed to accommodate my care needs. I was even able to use a wheelchair accessible vehicle and not rely on taxis while I was away.

The owner of the accommodation was a larrikin. One of the best parts was having a few drinks with him one evening and then watching him try to ride his push bike away.

I was able to experience deep sea fishing and actually go on a boat. I haven’t been able to do this since my accident 16 years ago. I laugh every time I think about the fishing trip. One of my support workers was very adamant that he would be fine on boats and he loves going on boats but as soon as we hit the sea he went pale and spent the trip leaning over the side of the boat.

I loved being a tourist on the Gold Coast and accessing places like Movie World and other tourist attractions, like Hooters.

I was supported to access Touching Base before I ended my holiday. It was great to access adult services on the Gold Coast. The support workers that assisted me didn’t make me feel silly or ashamed. They supported me and it was a great experience.

I want to go away longer next time and do more activities. Everything was well planned and Northcott took the time to listen to what I wanted to do and never made me feel silly about what I wanted to do.

The support workers never pushed what they wanted to do. They made me feel in control and it was my trip away. I look forward to my next trip away – maybe chasing a big barramundi up the top end.”

Related content

Read about our staff member, Sue’s experience working as a Northcott support worker.

Our customer, Travis also visited the Gold Coast recently, spending time on the rides at four of the famous theme parks. Read about his experience here


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