Getting the most from life

Sitting at a table surrounded by an eclectic collection of craft activities in progress, Beverley is one of nine people who regularly attend WavLink in Glen Waverley.

WavLink is a life skills and recreational program that supports learning and independent living opportunities for adults with an intellectual disability.

Around her others also enjoy putting their artistic and craft skills to the test, sewing lingerie and shoe bags, drawing or colouring in folios or even making pottery.

Travelling four days a week from one of OC Connections’ supported living homes, Beverley loves nothing more than enjoying the chance to catch up with friends and spend time pursuing some of her favourite hobbies. But such enjoyment almost came to an end last year when Beverley found it difficult to pay for her time at WavLink.

When she moved to OC’s congregate facilities 12 years ago, she relied on personal money to fund participating in the program. As funds declined, she could no longer afford to attend and as a result spent increasingly more time isolated at home.

Diving into a large bag full of coloured balls of wool, Beverley eagerly reaches for a set of needles that hold her latest craft project: “It’s going to be a scarf,” she cheerfully announces before turning her attention to knitting.

Noticing a marked change in Beverley’s mood, OC registered her for disability support and in late 2015, she received a support package with funding to pursue community activities.

Asked what she would like to spend the money on, Beverley didn’t hesitate in saying she would love to go back to WavLink.

Since returning in February, Lexi Clarke, who manages the support home where Beverley lives, has noticed a marked change.

“Beverley seems much happier, particularly in seeing her friends again. It’s so important that residents have the opportunity to get out of the house and into the community where they can connect with their friends. And it’s really important that people are involved in activities that are meaningful to them.”