Mamre Homestead in Orchard Hills spans 200 acres of tranquil gardens, farms, and orchards, and is home to programs provided by CatholicCare Social Services, Parramatta.
The programs support individuals living with a disability, the unemployed, as well as migrant and refugee families. A new service called CreateAbility aims to further support individuals living with a disability, in light of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which has recently been rolled out in Western Sydney.
Melissa Caldwell, the Disability Services Manager for Mamre, noted that the NDIS is a positive change for participants.
“The NDIS is going to be great for every participant and family in the area, as they will be able to have individualised funding and will have more choice in what they do and how they spend their money. Our participants will get to say, ‘I want to come here’ and ‘I want to do these activities,’” she explained.
The new three-tiered CreateAbility service is all about providing participants with options for their day activities and opportunities for them to self-manage what it is they want to do. The service includes the Community Participation Program that targets young adults between 18 and 24, the Life Choices Program that targets individuals between 25 and 64, and the Active Ageing Program, which is offered to older individuals over the age of 64.
The programs make use of the vast land, rich in biodiversity and a focal point for participants who enjoy lawn mowing, weeding, planting, and pruning.
The Community Participation Program aims to support young people living with a disability to develop skills, socialise with peers, and participate as active members in their community.
The Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs assist adults living with a disability to maintain their independence and participate as valued members of their community. Life Choices promotes social inclusion and interaction between people, with a focus on learning new skills. But Active Ageing participants can choose to focus on staying active and healthy, and linking with the community, as they grow older.
CatholicCare Social Services receives government funding, as well as funding from the Diocese of Parramatta.