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.






Finding Yellow Newsletter Spring 2016


As many of you will have heard the NDIS implementation has not been easy, we have been given a whole range of new challenges. At Finding Yellow we pride ourselves on our flexible attitudes and resilience which has proven to be a key strength over the past few months as our industry has been under immense external pressures. We look forward to NDIS appointing a new CEO and seeing some good results for our clients as soon as possible. In the meantime we are working on our business plans for 2017 with some exciting developments in the wings.

As always the helping hands offered to us by you are as important as ever. One way which we really need your help is by spreading the word of what we do and who we are. The more times you can share the name Finding Yellow the more help you are giving to all of us. We thank you so much for your support as we head toward the end of 2016. 

We hope you are enjoying our newsletters. Our new website is almost due to launch and this will be another great way for you to keep up to date with all we aim to achieve. Updates are always on Facebook and we’ll be sure to include mention of when the new website is live.

Enjoy the warmer sunny yellow weather!

Jenny Field


Bringing about change to the clients lives by introducing new programs, activities and events is so crucial to what we do here at Finding Yellow. It’s essential for their development, confidence, lifestyle, skills and their individual pathways to independence.

We have welcomed a number of new initiatives to Hutton Street recently and taken our current programs to a new level of success for clients.

Recently we introduced ‘bloke time’ to the clients, an opportunity for the men to participate in bloke orientated tasks, such as repairing and building things for other clients. Males are naturally driven by their pride, so providing the men with the tools they need to contribute to their home is important in giving them a sense of self-confidence, involvement and achievement. One of our ladies also enjoys participating in these activities. Our vegetable garden and chooks have been in full production and the clients love to enjoy fresh, organic produce in their meals (Taffy’s green thumb has been much appreciated here). Lisa spoiled us all with a delicious stir-fry using the broccolini, Spanish onions and carrots from the garden. Thank you Lisa.

We have also had a couple of visitors to Hutton St since our last newsletter - a frilled-neck lizard who loves to laze in the sunny garden and Mandi’s new grandson, Jasper, who everyone absolutely adored.

Beyond the home, our clients from Hutton St spend much time out and about participating in local events and activities in the Cessnock community. From parading with lanterns for the Spring Awakening to helping to distribute cupcakes and promote Finding Yellow at the Community Connect Day, the clients have many exciting stories to share. We are working closely with each person at the Hutton St residence and are so proud of their achievements this year. Their yellow moments couldn’t be any more brighter or leave bigger smiles on our faces.


Finding Yellow are proud to be part of the planning committee for this year’s Cessnock International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) celebrations. 

As part of our involvement, we will be helping to organise a multi-sport recreation day - Cessnock Includes You - Come and Try - that will be held at Cessnock PCYC from 10am-2pm on Friday 2 December.

This vibrant and fun day offers something for everyone - activities and sports to suit every ability.

We would love you to come along and try out some of the sports, such as soccer, cricket or wheelchair basketball, unleash your creative side in the art and music activities or, if you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, try your hand in the card games or stretch-out in a yoga class scheduled for the day.

This is truly an event for everyone.

To stay up to date on the program for the day search @cessnockincludesyou on Facebook or like the Finding Yellow Facebook page.


Sharing the yellow moments of the clients is something that we take great pride in at Finding Yellow. It takes courage for the clients to overcome the challenges that they individually face and yet they continually surprise us with their willpower and achievements.

That has certainly been the case with Stephen. Stephen moved from his family home into Hutton St in October 2009 and since then we have watched him flourish, gain confidence and make huge strides towards independence. Far from holding him back, Stephen has approached the challenges he faces everyday with determination and pride. The confidence Stephen has discovered through chasing his dreams to achieve employment, participate in his community and create a pathway to independence has inspired us all.

Today, with assistance from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, our Finding Yellow support workers and the Endeavour Group, Stephen plays an active part in the community, partaking in activities and events and proactively using Public Transport. His dream of getting his first job is now a reality and now he works four days a week, a commitment he is very passionate about.

Stephen has shown an outstanding commitment to independence at home and his life skills continue to grow every day. In fact, Stephen’s abilities have set him on a new path in his journey, one that will see him transition into independent living within the community. Congratulations Stephen!

Stephen’s family are so proud of what he has achieved and share that “he is a very different man to what he was when he first moved to Hutton St. It’s wonderful to see how happy and proud of himself he is!”

Stephen has truly encouraged us all to set and work hard to achieve our goals. Anything is possible!

Social Circles

Our Social Circles activities have caused a buzz with our staff and clients and we’re so excited to be able to have more meaningful adventures and experiences for participants planned for the near future.

Some of the more recent leisure activities and supported holidays participants have enjoyed include:

  • Gosford Reptile Park;
  • Christmas in July;
  • Several concerts;
  • Maitland Repertory Theatre;
  • Australian Infantry Museum; and
  • A relaxing 8-day South Barrier Reef Cruise followed by a 5-day visit to Adelaide.

We continue to strive to better our facilities and services at Finding Yellow so that we can further benefit our people’s lives. We have recently received a grant to upgrade the bathroom facilities at the hall to better provide for the client’s needs, purchased a memorial bench to enjoy the cricket from and have applied for funding to renovate the kitchen so that we can offer independent living programs in important skill areas such as shopping, menu planning and cooking.

Our team of creative minds are looking at establishing two regular activities for the clients, including a Craft Corner, which is in the planning phase, and Swimming Club kicking off in late January 2017 and running on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12.30-2.30pm each day.

We are also thrilled to be holding a Golf Day fundraiser at Stonebridge on Friday the 2nd of December this year. This is a proud moment for us to bring the broader community together to raise crucial funds to upgrade the flooring in Weston Hall for the clients. We hope you can make it.

If you would like more information on our upcoming activities, please give us a call.

We are always on the lookout for people interested in sharing in the sense of pride, joy and great memories that come with taking the clients out on our Social Circle adventures. If you are interested in volunteering or joining the team, please let us know.

Help us to find yellow… #FINDINGYELLOW

We are asking everyone to help us spread the word about the services we offer. By tagging the photos in which you and your family are finding your yellow moments with #findingyellow you are not only spreading joy but you are also helping us to raise awareness. Please make this simple move when you next post a picture on your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. We really appreciate your support.

Finding Yellow Newsletter Winter 2016

Finding Yellow Newsletter Winter 2016

As a friend of Finding Yellow you may have noticed the achievements that we have made over the past few months together. 

Since the beginning of 2016, we have welcomed two new members to our Board, made tracks toward the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and taken on full responsibility for Disability Social Circles.