At eight months old Dylan had open heart surgery. During the surgery he had a blood clot to the brain and a seizure. His family was told he would never walk again. Dylan defied the odds and can walk with a walking frame. He can’t talk but has determination and passion.
After years at school Dylan’s family found making the next step of Dylan’s life journey quite difficult. They wanted to find a place where Dylan felt comfortable and happy. A place he would be challenged and cared for. That place was Carinya.
John says “As soon as we walked in we got that feeling. It just felt right. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, all the participants seemed busy and happy. We just knew straight away, this was it. As Dylan can’t talk, we can only go by his expressions and his actions. Dylan travels each day by taxi to Carinya. He waits patiently by the door and as soon as he sees the taxi pull up he is out the front door and ready. We know that means he can’t wait to get there.”
Katherine says “If he comes home dirty and happy, I know he has had a good day. We love the communication book that Carinya uses. It means we can communicate with Dylan about the things he did during that day. Even though he can’t talk, it helps us engage with him about his day. We all appreciate that.”
Creativity takes Courage
Carinya’s art program is one of our most popular programs. Even though participants may have different abilities to complete everyday tasks they have the passion and the courage to create remarkable pieces of art.
Their skill and enthusiasm to create new pieces is infectious and you can’t help but be swept into the joy when you enter the art room.
“The art room has a great vibe. Participants are relaxed and happy in the art room and they are quite expressive through their work. Lots of praise and fun takes place here. I love to see the participants’ faces when they accomplish their work” says art instructor Ann.
Keen art participant John says “When I see my work hanging on the wall I feel happy. It makes me feel proud to see my work.”
Carinya’s participants are fortunate to be invited to exhibit their work at galleries throughout the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne which often result in prizes and the sale of their work.
Neville Duncan has lived in Nelson House, Carinya’s residential house, since 1998.
Neville grew up in Niddrie with his Mum and Dad and three sisters and brother. When Neville was old enough to start school his parents brought him to Coburg Helping Hand (now known as Carinya).
His Mum was very active on the Essendon Ladies Auxiliary and his Dad was part of the Lawn mowing/maintenance gang. While they were alive Neville’s parents played a very supportive role in his life. Neville used to be involved in the Special Olympics, especially basketball and swimming, and they were always there to support him.
Neville’s interests include writing and drawing at his desk while listening to his favourite CD’s. He also enjoys watching TV in his room, especially when his team North Melbourne, “the mighty Kangaroos” are playing. He sometimes goes to the MCG and Etihad Stadium to watch them live. He also likes going to watch local football, especially Oak Park which wears the same colours as North Melbourne.
Neville enjoys going out and seeing familiar people and also meeting new people at the “Creative Dance & Movement” classes at Brunswick Neighbourhood House.
Neville also enjoys spending time with his family and loves to attend family functions and catch up with everyone. Some highlights for him are his trips to Queensland to stay with his brother, a trip to Tasmania on the Spirit of Tasmania and holidays to New Zealand and Fiji.
At Carinya Society we have developed a way to inspire, connect and develop with our participants, and at the same time give back to a community who are less fortunate.
Ride Together is an initiative that rescues preloved bikes and restores them into safe, working condition so they can be given to those in third world countries with no other means of transport. Ride together is based out of the ‘Carinya Shed’, and we distribute the bikes we repair to Bicycles for Humanity.
Sam*, one of our participants, is in a wheelchair. For him the ‘Carinya Shed’ is his safe place. He loves to work as part of a team and see that he has accomplished something that can then go on to benefit someone else.
Tom*, another participant, comes to the ‘Carinya Shed’ for a sense of belonging and wellbeing. While he experiences difficulties in his day-to-day life the Ride Together program provides routine and he thrives on it. Tom is happy to chat and takes pride in the groups work.