Cleo, aged 19 and based in Redcliffe, was able to fulfil her dream of having a day out to the Gold Coast, with the help of Open Minds and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Having visited the Gold Coast with her family when she was younger, Cleo had fond memories of the area and in particular, of spending time there with her late mother.
Cleo was one of the first Redcliffe based participants to have her NDIS plan approved, and one of her biggest goals that she identified with her Lifestyle Planner at her NDIS planning appointment was a trip to the Gold Coast.
Prior to the NDIS, Cleo had not been able to access much support, and now with her approved NDIS plan, she is receiving the support she needs each day to be more active in the community, have day trips and be less isolated.
Support Workers at Open Minds assisted Cleo to plan the day trip, as she had a lot she wanted to fit in.
The day included a visit to a 7D cinema in Surfers Paradise, some beach time at Mermaid Beach, some shopping, and some walks around Burleigh Heads.
Cleo said: “My favourite part of the day was going to Mermaid Beach and to Burleigh Heads look out. I also loved the 7D cinema, it was scary but good fun, we sat in a chair and the chair moved! We travelled on a roller coaster to the Great Wall of China and they sprayed water on us and I could smell flowers.”
Cleo started receiving support from the Open Minds Redcliffe team in February 2018 and then moved into Open Minds run Transitional Housing in June 2018.
Transitional Housing provides accommodation to people with mental illness, who are homeless, or who have experienced domestic violence.
As Cleo has Social Anxiety, she finds every day activities and daily living tasks overwhelming. Working with Adam Playford, Open Minds Support Worker, has helped Cleo to make a plan each day and has shown her that she is able to be more independent.
Adam said: “Cleo was quite timid when she first came to Open Minds and she didn’t believe she was able to handle a big day trip out. She is an amazing person and has really embraced the freedom that the NDIS has shown her that she can have. Accompanying her to the Gold Coast was a great day out for both of us and she had a huge smile on her face for weeks after!”
Cleo said: “I like my Open Minds support staff taking me places, they also help me look after myself. I also enjoy going to Youth Space once a week, I play Connect 4 and I enjoy winning!”
Now that Cleo has ticked off this goal of visiting the Gold Coast, next on her list is to go camping with her Open Minds support staff.
Cleo said: “I would like to sit around a camp fire. I am getting money for Christmas and I would like to use this to buy more camping equipment.”