With the assistance of her support worker Michael, Brittany has gained the confidence to try new things and achieve much more than what many in society may think she is capable of.
Each day at Bedford there's a new activity for Brittany. She could be painting, bowling, learning how to catch public transport or visiting the local market to buy fresh produce to turn into a healthy meal. Michael works with Brittany and her parents to ensure the activities align with Brittany's personal goals and help her to be more independent and engaged with the community.
Like all 19-year-old girls, Brittany wants to be surrounded by friends who have the same interests, and to laugh and socialise with people her own age. Without Bedford, Brittany and many other Bedford members would be isolated and rely solely on parents and family to provide for them financially, emotionally and socially. Our dedicated support workers provide critical respite for families and open a new world of possibilities for members. They give so much more than is expected and are always prepared to do that bit extra to ensure goals and aspirations are not just met, but exceeded. They are committed to changing the lives of people with disability.
Families have trusted Bedford for over seventy five years to provide valuable work and life skills to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Caring for people with disability is a matter we take very seriously, and we invest in additional training, choices and complementary support services to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It's these "extra" supports that make all the difference to someone like Brittany. Sadly, these services are not covered by Government funding, so we rely on the generosity of the community.
"I love coming to Bedford. I have lots of friends and every day I do something different. Everyone here is so nice to me, but Michael is one of my favourite. He makes me feel safe. He is my hero," says Brittany.
Without your help, we couldn't provide the high-quality care and personalised attention we give to Brittany, her family and the 1,600 others who depend on us. Like all our members, Brittany has her own dreams and goals, such as learning to tell the time, improving her ability to communicate with others and being able to catch the bus to meet her dad. Michael and the team work with Brittany to ensure her individual expectations are met and each time she attends Bedford, she gets closer to her goals. Social interaction is one of Brittany's key priorities, whether that be outings in the community or activities at one of our sites.
For Brittany, she has routine and the opportunity to try new things with the support of caring people around her to make it happen. Brittany's parents know she is safe and surrounded by people focused on her and her needs.
"Every day Brittany walks into Bedford with a smile on her face and excited to be involved," says Michael. "Although the world is becoming more understanding, there is still an element of resistance to people with disability. By supporting Brittany's participation in different activities, we are breaking down the barriers and instilling confidence in Brittany and her friends. Brittany knows I'm here encouraging her every step of the way and she knows I won't let her fail."
Without the opportunity to come to Bedford, many people like Brittany wouldn't have the chance to make friends, learn important life skills or have the confidence to be themselves. Parents would struggle too; the ability to work or care for their other children would need to be put on hold so they could care for their child with disability. Thanks to your generosity, families like Brittany's feel supported and have peace of mind knowing their loved ones are in a safe and caring environment.