Centacare… taking NDIS options to a new level

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Centacare clients Nicholas and Jono enjoy a night out at the 'footy'

For 150 local people in the Ipswich region, Centacare’s Eastern Heights community hub has been a life changing experience.

With 8,000 Ipswich residents expected to sign up to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Centacare is focused on building the capacity of individuals and the local community by offering a wide range of innovative services in disability and mental health.

Since opening 12 months ago, the community hub has been a real boost for residents, bringing together qualified and experienced clinicians with people who are passionate about living life to the fullest.

Housed in the iconic ‘old butchers’ on Blackstone Road, the hub offers unique opportunities that reflect the goals of its clients. They go to the football (or theatre) on Friday nights and enjoy barbecues in the park, barefoot bowling, and local bars and restaurants.

The activities encourage independence, build confidence and develop all kinds of skills such as money handling, travelling on transport, communication and literacy.

Eastern Heights Service Delivery Manager Noreen Ushemasimba says the service, which also offers a kid’s program each Saturday, is growing in popularity, with increasing numbers of people popping in for a chat.

“We have had fantastic feedback and support from the local community,” Ms Ushemasimba said. “I think it’s because we don’t see ourselves as a ‘disability service’, which appeals to people.

“There’s no ‘fixed menu’ of services on offer. We focus on individuals – what they want, how they want to spend their time and how they want to live their best lives in their communities. “Our community hub is a place to learn, contribute, connect, get advice and support and belong.”

The programs offered at Eastern Heights are covered under the NDIS and are available to children over 7 years, young people and adults.

Centacare’s Community Hub at Eastern Heights is located at 17 Blackstone Road and is open every week day 8.30am to 4.30pm.

For more information about the community hub, please phone 1300 236 822 or email noreen.ushemasimba@bne.centacare.net.au