Broadmeadows Disability Services - Horticulture Therapy Program


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Broadmeadows Disability Services - Horticulture Therapy Program

  1. 1. BroadmeadowsDisability Services Eleventh Annual Report 2009 - 2010
  2. 2. 25 Years Attendance Frank Faba 20 Years Attendance Mary Bretherton Phillip Falsone Tracey Ford 20 Years Service Eveline Hoctor 15 Years Attendance Robert Pingel 10 Years AttendanceAndrew Elkhawand Sam Garcia Benney Jamou Louise Mallon Nhan Nguyen
  3. 3. From the Chairperson Upon reflection of the last year, much energy and focus has been on expanding and developing sustainable partnerships that are mutually beneficial to Broadmeadows Disability Services (BDS) and the broader community. In this it has been a year of great opportunity in fostering community connectedness and true partnerships. The dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of staff and volunteers have Sue Binger been critical in enabling the organisation to further develop meaningful (Chairperson) links with the local community. BDS has ended the year with a slight operating deficit of approximately $6,000. The Finance sub committee continues to monitor and evaluate budgets and manage investments. There has been a strong focus on the development of systems and administrative processes that provide for greater financial management and accountability across the organisation. The development of our organisation delegation document has resulted from this review as we move towards quality endorsement in 2012. There is a stringent approach to resource management providing greater Phyllis Cremona capacity to build on the infrastructure in the organisation. In the last year we have completed a range of refurbishment and renovations throughout the building, the purchase of plant and equipment and the upgrade and replacement of the vehicles. We have been very successful in our partnerships and funding submissions for grants that support the development of our infrastructure. One cannot ignore the vast opportunities the organisation has gained from the continued development of our BEEEP project, supported by the recruitment of a Community Development Facilitator position. I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Phyllis Cremona who resigned from the Board in September due to ill-health. On behalf of the Michael Grech members of the Board, we wish her well and thank her sincerely for her unwavering devotion to our organisation. Lastly, I would like to thank the members of the Board of Broadmeadows Disability Services for their continued dedication and commitment. On behalf of the Board of Management, I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the organisation, the people we support, families, carers, staff and volunteers for their dedication and passion. It is all of you who make our organisation a spirited community. As we review our current strategic goals and plan for the future, I would encourage you all to celebrate what we have achieved together. Rhonda Hunter Sue BingerCarmela Lombardo Bruce McCurry George Zamola (Deputy)
  4. 4. From the CEO - A year of Learning and Opportunities A year of learning and taking advantage of opportunities has provided for some exciting highlights and challenges over the last 12 months. I would like to extend my thanks to all Members of the Board for their continued support, commitment and enthusiasm as we embraced the opportunities and faced those challenges. The new management structure comprising of the Client Service Manager, Program Development Manager and Community Development Facilitator has provided stronger capacity and greater strength from both an organisational and service perspective. This teamhas supported the strategic review of service delivery areas and germinated many opportunities throughoutthe year. The continued review of systems and processes has further developed a consistency of servicedelivery and experience for the people we support across all service delivery areas.I would like to thank those people who have contributed to the review of our services in any way over the last12 months. We have been able to learn a great deal from the information that you have provided to us alongwith ways to improve how we ask for, receive and use feedback in the future. As we increase our ability tolisten and remain responsive to the people we support, it is critical that we improve our ability and processesto listen, hear and act upon what you tell us. The development of the BEEEP has provided a range of opportunities for BDS as an organisation and the individuals we support in partnership with our local community. These opportunities have resulted in a high level of activity and involvement in the site at BDS. The range of opportunities include the development of an access for all abilities garden, a horticulture therapy program, a parsley project, a partnership with Kangan Tafe, an energy audit, a social enterprise project and considerable site redevelopment. These have provided great opportunities for the members and staff of BDS and the broader community through creating volunteer opportunities and partnerships with local schools, Hume City Council and other community groups.BDS continues its commitment in building a skilled, experienced and committed work force. In the past year,whilst the implementation of the revised Community Support Worker agreement in December 2008 hasprovided greater flexibility in the workforce, it has posed a number of challenges. These particularly relate tothe cost effectiveness of programs, operational systems and reform of practices and the cost of compliance.In past months, we have been working towards a review of the two existing industrial agreements with afocus on the development and implementation of a single industrial agreement . This agreement will aim toensure the viability and sustainability of our organisation.A range of capital upgrades including replacement and refurbishment of furnishings and fittings, bathroomupgrades and modifications and a number of minor works have been undertaken jointly funded in part byDHS Minor Works. These include tinting of windows, landscaping, a car park upgrade, installation andconnection of water tanks and some roof repairs. The organisation has also funded a security upgrade, a firemanagement upgrade and an IT systems upgrade.Once again it was an eventful year in terms of Fundraising. BDS continues to host a range of fundraisingactivities throughout the year with both staff and membersactively involved. These have included the Footy Day andEaster Celebrations, Australians Biggest Morning Tea for theCancer Council of Australia and Jeans For Genes supportingGenetic Research. These events were a great success in thespirit of true partnership with our broader community.My sincere thanks to the vibrant and enthusiastic staff, you thepeople we support, your families and the volunteers who makeour organisation what it is.Barb van den Vlekkert
  5. 5. Broadmeadows Environment Enterprise Employment Program (BEEEP)It is with great pride that I look back at the achievements of the BEEEP over the last 12 months. Thecollection of ideas that formed the project have been explored, solidified and either implemented or well ontheir way to being so. This has been achieved with close consultationwith the members, staff, and the board of BDS and the invaluableinput of a host of volunteers. The foundations have been laid formany projects that I am sure will bear fruit in the coming years.The initial idea for a Community Garden has evolved into an AccessAll Abilities Garden after assessing the needs of the members of BDSand listening to the opinions and experiences of people like StevenWells from Royal Talbot and the Horticultural Therapy Association ofVictoria. A garden that is accessible to members of BDS with varyingphysical capabilities will provide an opportunity for both active andpassive enjoyment of the space. An extensive consultation processhas been undertaken which included members visiting various garden settings and their feedback beingrecorded by staff. With this information in hand, a design was finalised, costed and approved by the board.Alongside the development of the Access All Abilities Garden we have been working hard to improve andformalise the Horticulture activities that take place on site. This has involved researching various models andsettling on using the Cultivating Quality resource produced by Thrive in the U.K. This document hasinfluenced heavily how we have approached developing our own program and ensured that our members arebenefiting from international best practise. The Parsley Project aims to give its participants the opportunity to see from start to finish the process of small scale agriculture and inturn give them a small financial reward. Using a format developed with the Thrive Standards a project delivery plan was developed for a term long program. This laid out instructions for each part of the enterprise which included researching, building and maintaining the wicking beds, recording the costs of materials, harvesting, delivering the produce and working out profit margins. Our community partner is Larder Fresh, a Falafel producer based in Preston who focus on using locally sourced ingredients. Other benefits include understanding the value of work, promoting BDS and most importantly showing the wider community the capabilities of our members.Another aim of BEEEP is to reduce the overall carbon footprint of BDS. The first step was to replace the 25year old electric hot water service with a solar gas boosted hot water system. Conservative estimates fromSustainability Victoria show this will achieve a minimum of 5% to 8% reduction in electricity used on site. Thesecond measure was to tint some East facing windows, in summer this will significantly reduce the amount ofglare and heat that is transferred through the window. To ensure that any further measures that are takenprovide the best environmental and financial return BDS engaged the services of an RMIT student to conducta full energy audit of the whole site.The Bright Sparks project is a social enterprise that aims to give members the opportunity to participate in theworkforce, earn a fair days wage and assist in changing attitudes towards people with a disability. Theenterprise will increase workplace safety by ensuring that organisations are fully compliant with legislationrelating to the Testing and Tagging of Electrical items. A businessplan has been developed and the business model refined andreshaped. The business will be trialled onsite over the next 12months.Big thanks to all those that have been involved in this projectsespecially Claire Hetzel, Chris Williams, Steven Wells, RichardChan, Majella Grainger, Stephen Beavis, Jean marc Greco, PabloGimenez and Phil McKenzie.Ben Neil
  6. 6. Client ServicesA busy and productive year from both an operational and program development perspective in ClientServices has enabled the strengthening of front line operational capacity across all service delivery areas. Day Services including the Intensive Support Program, Individual Support Packages, RASP and the Escapade Program continue to challenge the organisation to respond creatively to the individual needs of the people we support and their families. A more consistent approach to workforce management, policy and practice, systems development and budget management across all program areas has assisted in enhancing the experiences of all people who engage with our organisation. Recruitment and retention of staff and opportunities for professional development continue to be key focus areas. Recruitment drives have been conducted quarterly resulting inengagement of a number of highly experienced, qualified and dedicated staff. Our focus on engaging staffthat have a range of skills and expertise to offer and special areas of interest aims to expand theopportunities of learning for members. Artists, Beauticians, Chefs, Carpenters and Horticulturalists havecomplimented the range of programs and activities we can offer.This year staff participated in a range of training initiatives including First Aid Level 2, CPR Refresher andManual Handling Fire Safety Equipment Training and Medication Administration. A number of staff attendedthe Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (ASSID)Conference. Staff have also attended various workshops and in-serviceforums on topics to enhance service delivery skills including Qualityand Outcome Standards, Community Gardens and HorticulturalTherapy, Communication and Sensory Stimulation.Induction and orientation processes have been reviewed resulting inthe development of streamlined processes across all program areas,including a focus on both the theoretical and practical aspects of theroles. The revised processes have proven to be not only morecomprehensive but vastly more efficient in terms of their timing whileimproving the experiences of staff undertaking orientation and inductionprocesses.Over the past twelve months there has been a strategic approach to evaluating and reviewing the operationalcapacity and financial viability across all program areas. This has included an operational review of the RASPand Escapade programs and a review of the Day Services program. Planning and implementation of thesereviews has significantly informed the parameters for future planning and service development across theorganisation.There has been a strong commitment and a keen focus on the continuous improvement and having the rightsupports and people, mechanisms and systems in place to be able to provide the quality of the service andoutcomes expected by the people we support – as always, this work will be progressive.We continue to focus on supporting staff to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the Quality Framework, the development of quality measures and alignment of supports and capturing achievement towards outcomes for individuals. The challenging work in the coming months is to expand our capacity to increase the knowledge and understanding of the Quality Framework and Individual Support Packages for people we support and their families which will enable them to actively assist the organisation to continue to grow and learn. We look forward to working with VALID as they support us in increasing our capacity and processes to work actively with the people we support and their families. This work is continuous and provides valuable information to
  7. 7. drive service development and review but most importantly, it informs all we do with the individuals wesupport.Escapade Respite Support ServicesEscapade respite programs are as ever popular and in high demand, indicative of the fact that it is a truly valued service by families and the people we support. The program provides a combination of weekend and school holiday respite activities for adults and children with a range of support needs, including individuals requiring 1:1 support on a Fee for Service basis. This Financial year the program provided 11,206 hours of support to over 100 individuals, receiving a total of 19 new referrals throughout the year. During school holidays program, as many as 10 individuals who require intensive 1:1 supports have been provided respite activities. The availability and energy of our vibrant team of support workers has been vital in enabling these levels of service to be provided.As always the activities are the highlight of all that we do. We have really focused on the true integration andparticipation of individuals in the life of the community offering a wide range of social and recreationalactivities all over metropolitan Melbourne. The most popularwith the children have included visits to places of interestincluding the Melbourne Aquarium, Science Works, theMelbourne Zoo, local festivals and activities including Karaoke,Fishing, Community Markets, visits to Play Centres, Roller-blading and Bowling. Adult groups have enjoyed eveningSocial Dinners, Discos and Live Music Venues, Karaokeevenings, various Sporting Activities such as Bowling andFooty Games. Visits to places of interest such as the BallaratWildlife Park, the Zoo and Geelong Water Park have also beenpopular.The approach to the review of respite services was one ofconsultation and collaboration with individuals and theirfamilies. In early September 2009 a number of Information and Consultation Sessions were conducted withfamilies and service users, followed by a feedback survey. The attendance was fantastic and the informationwas well received by families and individuals.The forums provided the opportunity for BDS Management to showcase a range of information on theoperations, resources and the long term planning for the Escapade Program. Most importantly it provided theopportunity for families to be involved in discussions, provide input and feedback on their opinions andpreferences. The feedback provided to us informed and resulted in a review of activity scheduling providing amore efficient and sustainable service with minimum impact for individuals. We wish to acknowledge theparticipation of those people who worked with us to provide such a positive and sustainable outcome.RASPRASP has been an active and consistent program this year with a continued focus on the provision of community recreational, social activities and pre vocational activities, all of which are community based. Programs have operated predominantly on weekdays with the inclusion of the popular monthly social dinner. Overall the 2009/2010 financial year we have provided a total of 8,656 hours of support to 35 individuals. Recreational activities such as evening dinner groups, Billiards and Bowling have been well attended in the last 12 months. RASP continues to offer pre-vocational opportunities to individuals who have
  8. 8. an expressed interest in this area. The Members from DarebinLodge (Supported Accommodation Facility) have undertakengardening and maintenance works for a range of customers inthe Northern region. These gentleman are enthusiastic andcommitted to the work that they undertake and take great pridein seeing a job well done while forming strong social networksin the process.A key piece of work undertaken this year was the StrategicOperational Review of the RASP Program. The review wasconducted with a focus on the analysis of the imminent re-tender of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) contract.Pending the tender process, the information attained in thereview will inform further discussion with the Board todetermine the future of the RASP Program. This will be a key focus in planning for the coming year.Individualised Supports (ISP)The ISP Program provides support to individuals in a range of settings, including their family home andindependent living arrangements. The supports are individually tailored to meet the needs of the individualsand range from providing personal care and assistance, social and recreational activities and life skillsdevelopment in various settings. This Financial year there has been a strong focus on reviewing individuals support packages in line with individual support plans based on the activities and supports that individuals require. Reviews have involved the active engagement of individuals, their families and networks and close collaboration with planners, funding bodies and allied professionals to ensure the right supports are in place. There is a need for continuous monitoring and review which requires consistent commitment and collaboration from all parties involved. We have worked steadfastly in ensuring that individuals and their families understand the nature of Individualised funding and what theiropportunities and options are in ensuring they have the support they require. We will continue to work withDHS, the people we support and their families to establish a common understanding of the parameters andpossibilities of individualised funding package allocations. Whilst this has been a challenge at times, it hasresulted in positive outcomes for individuals, who can truly be more self-directed about the lifestyle they wantand how this is best achieved.Day ServicesIt has been a very busy year in the Day Services, full of opportunities which have been truly driven andembraced by the individuals we support. The Members continue to be at the forefront of all that we do andachieve and continue to aspire to achieve. There has been a continued focus on quality improvement alignedwith a strategic approach to the development of processes and systems for monitoring and reviewing theoutcomes for individuals and their achievements and the supports whichwe provide.Mid year, a comprehensive review of the Day Services Programs andactivity planning and resources allocated was undertaken. The main aimwas to expand on the existing opportunities and redirect the focus toinclude a greater range of activities within a more equitable distribution ofresources across the program. This was a key piece of work with a strongfocus on getting the right supports for individuals and assuring that peoplewere positively engaging in activities of their choice.New programs have provided fresh opportunities. Daily Programs havebeen restructured and operate all day, maximising the activity timesignificantly. There has been particular focus on the realignment of centre
  9. 9. based programs. Cooking and Art Programs now operate five daysper week to accommodate the needs of people with varied skills andsupport needs, a range of Art and Craft Programs and a tuck shoponce a week.There has been an increase in communication and computerprograms aligned with literacy, lifelong learning and pre vocationalskills development. These are hugely popular and individuals haveshown real dedication to the active literacy learning groups. MusicPrograms also operate five days a week with a music therapist oneday a week over 2 sessions, a musical performer another day andvarious Karaoke, disco and musical percussion sessions.There continues to be a huge interest in sports and recreational activities within the local community. Netball,footy and bowling are very popular with many of our members being active team players at local communityvenues. Swimming and Sailability has once again been very popular with individuals enjoying many a daysailing at Jack Roper Reserve and various venues including Albert Park Lake, supported by the dedicatedcommitment of volunteers and BDS staff. The development of the BEEEP project at BDS has offered a range of fantastic opportunities for individuals in the Day Services Program, many whom have truly embraced the opportunities, very proudly taking carriage of a range of gardening, nursery and horticulture activities at BDS. Through the development of the Horticulture Therapy Program some great opportunities have arisen for Members. Between December and January a total of 30 Members accessed a number of sensory gardens located within reasonable proximity to BDS. The objective of these visits were to gain greater incite into successful community gardens, providing Members with ideas that can be developed here at BDS. Members have been actively involved in the planning and initial development of the Access for All Abilities Garden which should becompleted early next year. The Horticulture Therapy Program operates 2 days per week with individualslearning basic horticultural knowledge, engaged in plant propagation and planting.Gardening programs continue to be popular providing many and varied opportunities for members to developtheir skills in gardening and horticulture. These activities have been running four days per week consisting ofGarden Club (Learning based program) and Work Crew (Practical work component). This provides Membersan opportunity to learn about items such as OH&S in Garden Club and then put learnt skills into practiceduring Work Crew. Currently approximately 22 members are actively participating in either or both of thesegroups once per week to develop skills in OH&S and better understand how to use the equipment. The ediblegarden is well established with many of the individuals taking great pride in their produce which is used in thecooking program regularly.Students from Broadmeadows Special Developmental School (BSDS) continue to be supported by theirteachers and BDS Members onsite while participating in gardening and horticulture programs here at BDS.We are in the process of finalizing a partnership with Kangan Batman TAFE to offer a number of componentsof the Certificate 1 in Work Education course to our Memberswho have expressed a very keen interest in being involved.This will be a great opportunity that we look forward to in thecoming year.The Intensive Support Program currently provides supports to12 individuals who require intensive levels of support. The teamcomprises 11 core dedicated staff who work across theprogram with all individuals. Individuals enjoy predominantly arange of community based recreational and educationalactivities of their choice, art and cookery activities. In theinterest of building their social networks and relations withpeers, individuals enjoyed some great group outings including a
  10. 10. day out at the Geelong Water Park and a classic river cruise down the Yarra. Friday Night Social Group hasonce again been hugely popular. Members participated in a variety of sporting and musical events includingBabba, Rock Legends, Cold Chisel, AC/DC and the Rock Goddess Show and evenings at AFL games.In July this year the Jeans for Genes annual fundraising event was held at BDS. This was a great eventinvolving families and the local community. We had the honor of the event sponsored by our localWoolworths Hume Distribution Centre who made a significant contribution of foodstuffs for the morning tea.Staff from Woolworths attended the event. A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Woolworths. BDSraised and donated funds for the charity which supports research into childhood genetic disorders. The highlight of September was the Annual Churinga Bombers V’s Brimbank Bulldogs Football match. Tony Azzopardi was awarded a medal and voucher from Rebel Sports, for being ‘Best on Ground’. Tony was overwhelmed by his win which was duly honored and congratulated by all his team mates. Once again Members participated in The Great Race Victoria, organised by Greyhound Racing Victoria. It was an exciting event this year in that the greyhound sponsored by BDS won the first heat at the Meadows. The Members enjoyed the community spirit and being part of such a community event.Our performing drama group “Dream on Productions” have had another busy and energizing year. Mid yearthey enjoyed a weekend at the “Dramarama” Camp in Maryborough, participating in various dramaworkshops. The group forged a strong partnership with Carinya Society culminating in a duel performance atthe Awakenings Festival in Horsham last year where they performed “shipwrecked on a tropical island”followed by big celebrations at the Awakenings Ball.The Member Reference Group continues to be an active and focused group, with active membership andrepresentation on the Northern Client Network run by VALID. This has afforded individuals with some greatopportunities for self expression and attendance at forums and workshops on various informative topics. 20Members attended the Human Rights Forum held at the HumeGlobal Learning Centre in December 2009, an initiative of theHume Council.In building and sustaining partnerships with our localcommunity a number of VCAL students from the local PenolaCollege participated in work experience placement at BDS. Itwas a great experience for both the students and our Memberswho worked in a range of activities alongside each other fromPenola College participating in Work Experience here at BDS.Geraldine Long My name is Dwaine and this is my story. I have been at BDS for over a year and I have been working hard. It’s really good for me. I am very happy at BDS. Before I came to BDS I was at Broadmeadows Special Development School. I used to go to the gym at “Broadie” and do weights. I worked hard there for years. I remember my first day at BDS. I got the bus to BDS. I was excited and a little bit nervous seeing all my mates from the old school. I like the things I do at BDS, like mowing the lawns, whipper snipping, doing clean up and gardening work. This is what I like to do. I work at BRITE the other 3 days a week. I like all my mates here, all the boys, I have lots of mates.I like going out with staff, I like coming to BDS and I have fun at BDS. It’s a good laugh. I like working herewith the men and the boys and I help other people out.In the future I would like to go to work at Dysons Bus Depot, maybe doing some bus cleaning. For now, I amhappy at BDS.
  11. 11. Community Support Workers:Sara Abela Neville Drummond Noreen Hickey Dale O’Keefe Sharon SwindellsChristine Baker Jowita Dymek Paul Ingham Anastasia Pangidis Manee ThepvongsaEve Batsanis Thomas Edwards Peter Hume Cheryl Parker Danna TownsendTanya Bird Mouna El -Masri Debra King Lily Petreski Karissa TuckerMonica Blackstock Er Fedai Anna Lorenti Kim Prosser Chris TurnerDamian Cifonelli Dianne Flight Heath McCormack Carole Rachford Alan WalleyLyn Columbo Carmen Gatoc Loran Moelands Rebecca Reale Jade WilshireNoel Crawley John Giagias Nadia Morando John Ruffin Fiona WilsonShelley Dighton Renai Grattan Lisa Nguyen Jessica Shields Lara WilsonLuke Doherty Kira Green Brianna Nicol Melissa Singh Melanie WongBetty Doody Anne Hammill Sharon Neilson Michael Sumner Day Services:Tracey Barr Mary-ann Doria Elaine Latham Franca Pungitore Mary SkopelianosMatthew Bonetti Katherine Fell Daniel Maundrell Talinga Ranking Desiree Smith-PainSusie Bountris Kevin Ferrari Phillip McKenzie Shane Ray Ondine StachnowskiMichelle Burke Dale Hanson Brad Mendelson Adrian Ritchie Anne StephenGeorgia Cabecas Debbie Happell Laurie Page Melissa Robinson Rae TimbsBonnita Christoforou Wendy Harvey Frank Pardo Ian Rowe Danna TownsendKevin Clark Claire Hetzel Gayle Pardo Craig Schell Wanda WaligoraCorinne Darby Eveline Hoctor Michael Perri Ronak Shah Suzanne WightleyTheo Digal Melanie Irving Rebecca Poor Shaveta SharmaMary Doherty Amanda King Rebecca Pottenger Simon Silwamba Bus Drivers:Anne Brandt Jerry Le Maistre Chris Michaelides Karen Millman Jenny Oldenhuis Lyn Rider John Timbs John Williams Administration: Reception - Lauren Lowther Administration - Kim Keevers & Rebecca Kendall Finance Administrator - Lyn Chapman Program Leader Escapade - Julie Chakley Program Leader ISP & RASP - Amanda Beecham Program Leader Day Services - Lisa-Jane Podesta Program Manager Day Services - Luke Doherty Community Development - Ben Neil Program Development Manager - Simon McDowell Client Services Manager - Geraldine Long Chief Executive Officer - Barb van den Vlekkert