Mai-Wel, a Hub for NDIS opportunities
In Maitland and Cessnock, people with disability have a place to learn life skills, express themselves creatively, make friends and of course have fun; The Hub, Mai-Wel’s Lifestyle & Leisure initiative is located on Vincent Street in Cessnock and at 555 High Street in Maitland.
The Hub has been welcoming people with a disability to participate in a range of lifestyle and leisure skill building initiatives, specifically Life FUNdamentals, Leisure Links and Creative Arts. The Hub in Maitland was the first to open and as demand for the services grew, a second site was opened on Vincent Street in Cessnock in 2017.
The energy that fills The Hub is positive and inspiring with participants, staff and volunteers working together to teach, learn and inspire independence and life skills and develop friendships. The Hub is truly far from a classroom-style learning environment.
When Mai-Wel participant, Alyssa, finished high school in 2018, her family were anxious about the next step in her adult life; What would she do? What would be the best provider? How would it all play out for her?
After trying services with two other local providers that weren’t the right fit, Alyssa’s mum, Nicole was reluctant to put all of her faith in just one provider. She would never have predicted that in just five months her daughter would be spending three full days per week attending Mai-Wel services at the High Street complex in Maitland.
In January 2019 Alyssa commenced Step Up, Mai-Wel LabourForce Solutions’ School Leaver Employment Supports initiative on Monday and Tuesday mornings learning skills to bridge the gap between school and working life. In the hunt for an activity to fill her Monday afternoon, Alyssa joined a small group at The Hub learning basic cooking skills.
“Alyssa has always been very happy to sit back and let me do everything for her, but now she won’t let me cook for her,” says her mum, Nicole, who is amazed with her daughter’s skills, independence and confidence developed in such a short time.
After just one month of her weekly cooking activity Alyssa asked to cook her own sausages at home for dinner. Now, five months later, Alyssa researches her own recipes to cook, chooses the ingredients to buy and cooks each night at home.
“What honestly started as an afternoon time filler has turned into a wonderful opportunity for Alyssa to be in an environment with the most supportive staff and participants who can inspire her to do things herself and model herself on.”
“The sky is the limit now!”