Riding a ferry, visiting the beach, having dinner in a fancy restaurant, and taking a trip to Sydney is something most of us take for granted.
But for members of the community with disability, getting to travel outside of their home town is not often something they get to do.
For ten clients with Mudgee Disability Support Service however, crossing off those things and more was made possible earlier in the month with thanks to a grant from KEPCO.
Ingrid Puxty from Mudgee Disability Support Services said the trip to Sydney was the first excursion undertaken by the organisation through their brand new day program centre.
“It’s not something in the past that we’ve had the opportunity to do,” Mrs Puxty said.
“There are a mix of day programs and we had around 13 clients say they wanted to go somewhere because it wasn’t something they were able to do all that often,” she said.
Mrs Puxty said she asked the clients a few questions to discover where the best place to travel to would be and discovered that some hadn’t been to Sydney at all or hadn’t been in 20 or 30 years.
After deciding on Sydney, Mrs Puxty said the clients came back to her with a list of things they wanted to do including ferry rides, Sydney Aquarium, Ten Pin Bowling, and a chocolate cafe. As well as big group events, Mrs Puxty said each client had something they wanted to do personally like travelling to Manly or going to the beach.
“Everyone had the opportunity to put one thing they really wanted to do on a bucket list,” Mrs Puxty said.
“One person really wanted to go to Manly because he’s a big Sea Eagles fan while our client in a wheelchair, Maddie McCarthy, really wanted to try out a beach wheelchair,” she said.
“The wheelchair floats and we were able to get her in the wheelchair and into the water and she was just so happy,” she said.
Mrs Puxty said the grant from KEPCO paid for several nights accommodation for the clients at the YHA in Sydney and provided the entire group with brightly coloured, matching jackets so they would be able to find each other in the hustle and bustle of the city.
“It just made things so much easier for the clients,” Mrs Puxty said.
“Without worrying about accommodation costs, they were able to see and do so many more things and had a ball doing it,” she said.