News, Events, News and Events • February 02, 2022

Celebrating One Year of Innovation at Noarlunga

To celebrate the first birthday of our therapy site at Noarlunga, let’s take a look back at the last year and our plans to build on its success for the future.

Back in November 2020, we opened the doors to our new state of the art therapy centre, right in the heart of Colonnades Shopping Precinct. This location was really key, as it’s where we know lots of our client families are and where many more need our services.

This vision for this centre was about more than just delivering therapy, as it was focused on three key social impact goals for our clients: creating better health and wellbeing outcomes, improved social inclusion and increased employment.

Our innovative spaces are key to making these goals a reality. Let’s take you on a tour of the centre, focused on the purpose of our spaces.

Left:  Supporting partners and dignitaries at our opening ceremony.
Right: His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC joins clients Adeline and Cam to cut the ribbon at our grand opening.

Safe places for families to learn and connect

Rather than a clinical, intimidating office, we wanted to create a safe space for the whole family to feel welcomed and supported. We have engaging community spaces like our Beach, Forest and Hills Zones as well as a sibling room and parents lounge.

A safe space for the whole family.  

“I’ve been able to meet other parents, share ideas and stories – and be supported and encouraged, rather than judged.” – Maddie’s Mum, Megan

We also incorporated the most innovative therapy to really engage our clients like our construction zone and digital gaming room.

Left:  Lego therapy in the Construction Zone.
Right: Digital Gaming: a great way to build social connections using tools that children and youth enjoy.

“It’s about implementing what they use at home and what they are interested in to facilitate the therapy, which is what makes the Digital Gaming space so unique”. – Senior Occupational Therapist, Adriana

Space to connect, belong and thrive

At Can:Do Group, we want to support the whole person: their relationships, social competence and communication. We know that children and adolescents with vision and hearing challenges have a higher risk of developing depression, aggression and anxiety and are more likely to experience bullying, victimisation and marginalisation. Our clients need a place to feel connected, to belong and thrive.

We have a ‘Teen’ space where clients can hang out, socialise, do homework and feel connected. Our Youth Group and supporting programs include workshops, recreational and social activities that empower our young people to transition into high school, build social connections, self-identity and confidence.

Left:  WHISPA group program participants enjoy themselves while putting on a masterclass together.
Right: Social Buddies for life!

Skills to live a life without limits

There is a shortage of services providing independent living skills training and capacity building activities, as they are deemed unprofitable. People living with a disability are much less likely to be employed than people without one (53.4% v 84.1%). Our mission is to drive capacity building and give our clients the skills to live independently.

Left:  Can:Do client, Dimi, practices navigating through the centre with his cane.
Right: Let’s Cook!

“The ILS Kitchen provides children and youth with great opportunities to develop skills relating to cooking and meal preparation in a safe and supportive environment. These skills are vital for achieving one of the most important outcomes for our clients: independence. They’ll be learning a lot of skills around cooking, preparing meals, reading recipes, gathering all their equipment together, and cleaning up; skills that are often taken for granted but can be quite challenging for those with additional needs.” – Senior Occupational Therapist, Adriana

“The new kitchen facilities are a wonderful asset to the Can:Do 4Kids facilities. A purpose built space with the needs of vision and hearing impaired foremost in design. An inspirational collaboration between MasterChef and Ben Trobianni was our first experience in the stellar facilities where we saw confidence being boosted, skills emerging and developing and friendships being forged and maintained.” – Amy and Adeline

An enormous thanks to our supporting partners, without which this centre would not have been possible…

 

 

What’s next?

The next phase is for us to develop the outside space into a sensory connections garden and learning space. If you are interested in helping us make this happen, please contact alison.valentine@candogroup.com.au

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