Finding Yellow Newsletter Winter 2017



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We treasure our volunteers

Finding Yellow staff continually work in partnership with our clients to enable them to live an engaged life. But there are times when our staff simply cannot do it all, that’s why the assistance and support of our volunteers is vital.


Simply put, we couldn‘t provide the amazing service we do without them. Their generosity touches every part of our organisation: the board who make the key strategic decisions about our operation are volunteers, Social Circles regular activities and holiday programs are supported by the work of volunteers.


Our volunteers come from many places, have many faces and bring their own unique skills to Finding Yellow. We appreciate everything they do for us. Would you like to join our volunteer team? We’d like to hear from you!



A new partnership

We’ve got some wonderful news to announce. Nine months ago we partnered with Ability Options and ConnectAbility Australia to put in a joint tender to manage the NSW Government Disability Accommodation Services in the Hunter. We were successful! Our accommodation partner will be Evolve Housing, who will manage the tenancy of all clients in the existing homes. 


So what happens next? Our immediate priority is ensuring that the next stage of this transition process is as seamless as possible for clients, their families and support staff and delivered with understanding, respect and integrity. 

Right now, for Finding Yellow staff, it’s business as usual, with all our existing programs continuing as normal. By the end of the year, with the transition of these services completed, we will be well-positioned to head into an exciting 2018.



Are you getting the right NDIS services?

The NDIS is up and running and it’s great to see the positive impact it is having on so many lives, but it can be a tricky system to navigate. Finding Yellow’s Support Co-ordination Service has found that despite many people being eligible for particular services they are not getting them. Sometimes people get a great NDIS plan, but don’t really know how to make it work for them.


Services accessed under the NDIS are more flexible than most people think. We are available to discuss your plan with you, looking at what existing services are in place and exploring what else you might be able to access. We have found that often people coming to us for help don’t feel confident to organise their own services, or are using providers outside their local area, with the result that their funds then get chewed up in travel costs.


Finding Yellow is here to help, we can assist you to get started with your NDIS plan, by working with you directly, or referring you to the right supports. It’s a valuable exercise to undertake as you can then get a better understanding of how the scheme works and how your plan can be used to meet your personal goals and ultimately enhance your life.


Recently one of our clients thought all he needed was a cleaner, when his personal needs were actually more complex. These needs could be addressed using his plan, but he required assistance to develop it, so that it could be more appropriate for his life. He now has so many more supports in place, with more services in the pipeline.



From lunch dates to ocean cruises – come and get social with us

Through our service Social Circles clients get the opportunity to make new friends, learn life skills and most importantly have fun. The Social Circles program includes regular events at their centre or heading out and about to try out a new café for lunch or go on a coffee date. We visit museums and galleries, go to concerts and love to try new things.


Social Circles is now developing in another new direction, with the NDIS allowing us to offer different kinds of activities, this time tailored to smaller groups and based on clients’ requests.


As a client-centered service we ask ‘what would you like Social Circles to develop for you?’ and the answer drives our programs. On the drawing board are activities focused around lifestyle skills such as cooking classes, fitness groups and skills development in the area of shopping and making good nutritional choices.


One new program we are particularly excited about is our Men’s Group. Our male clients determine what activities their group will be doing, with their first outing being a public transport return trip from Cessnock to Maitland. There they walked along the banks of the Hunter River, went out for lunch and returned home in the afternoon. It was a lovely day and the group is now meeting regularly.


Our holiday program is continuing full-steam ahead and we are thrilled with its popularity, with the holidays quickly booking out. We are currently planning a new Pacific Island cruise in November and bookings are open now, so if you are interested please don’t hesitate to be in touch. It is great to see the enthusiasm for our holiday program.


A new addition to our Social Circle team is Donna who comes to us with extensive experience in the travel industry, perfect for developing our holiday projects even further.



Delicious winter fare on the menu at Hutton Street

With the cold weather approaching our clients living at Finding Yellow’s Hutton Street accommodation service have been inspired to try out some new hearty recipes in their big kitchen.


A recent hit was ‘cauliflower toast’, a hearty open sandwich and a real meal in itself. Picture a toasted sandwich of finely minced cauliflower, layered with avocado then ham topped off with a free-range fried egg. Yum!


Best of all the eggs came from our own hens and the cauliflower was grown in our own garden. Hutton Street’s backyard has four dedicated vegetable gardens full of fresh produce and herbs. It’s a great way for our clients, who look after the gardens, to have nutritious food easily at hand. Our sweet chickens Elsie, Daisy and Delilah provide us with eggs every day and are much loved by us all.


Clients’ winter tips and holiday memories

Our Hutton Street clients have some great ideas for keeping warm and enjoying the crisp winter weather. Lisa says her top tip is to head straight for the kitchen and make home-made soup, because the best way to keep warm is from the inside out. For Vicki, a loyal Knights supporter, it’s about putting her knitted Knights blanket on her bed, a sure sign that winter is here.


Great memories of a recent summer cruise a number of our clients took is still fresh in everyone’s minds. For Stephen it was a holiday he truly loved and would be quick to do again. What was his favourite memory of the high seas? The large movie theatre on the ship was a revelation and the High Tea was a gastronomic delight with the food described as ‘beautiful’.



Meet Ssanyu

Ssanyu is a female name from Africa which means ‘joy’ or ‘gladness’. It comes from the Luganda language, one of the main spoken in Uganda. Why are we telling you this? You might have seen Ssanyu, she is the scarecrow living in the front garden of our accommodation service in Hutton Street, Cessnock.


The garden is a lovely green spot where clients and staff can sit, enjoy the flowers and plants and soak up some welcome winter sunshine.


Taffy, one of our volunteers, who has a particular fondness for Ssanyu, recently decked her out in some new glad rags for winter. She’s now wearing a stylish yellow jacket with a diamante pin and a matching golden head dress. Very chic!



Hello and goodbye

It’s a big ‘hello’ and ‘welcome’ to new Finding Yellow staff, Wendy, Alison, Jordan, Robert, Donna, Annie and Michelle. Also joining us are volunteers David, Allison and Cathy. Good to have you all on board! Moving on are Chele and Lou, we want to thank them both for all their hard work and wish them every success in their new endeavours.