For NDIS participant, Alanna Jansen, combining social interaction with employment has proven a perfect fit.
Working at Launceston’s Blueline Laundry in her first ever paid role, Alanna, 57, who lives with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability, is in a spin over how she’s been able to achieve her working goals.
“I like everything I do at work; we work alongside each other regardless of disability, and I like the social side and meeting other people,” Alanna said.
“It feels really good… it gives you an incentive to get up in the morning and go to work, and I feel really positive about myself.”
Since becoming an NDIS participant last year, finding the support she needs to achieve her social goals has Alanna excited about the road ahead.
Alanna, once feeling unsupported and isolated, has found ways to better her life at home, while enjoying the things she loves to do out of it.
“I was really struggling and had low self-esteem,” Alanna said.
“I had to look after my parents who are both in their 80s… my step father had dementia, my mum is losing her memory, so I had to support them with no actual support for me.
“Through my NDIS funding, I now have a support worker, a cleaner once a week, and support to go out into the community.”
Creating a strong bond with Alanna, NDIS-funded support worker Rachel said Alanna was now building her all-round capacity while enjoying regular social activities and weekend trips away.
After Alanna recently lost her step father, Rachel said having NDIS support had been crucial for her.
“I work with Alanna every Tuesday, Wednesday and every second Saturday, and we do everything from socialising to exercise, managing her home, and her medical and appointment needs,” she said.
“We go out for meals once a week, social activities once a fortnight, and we go to the beach and try to get out of Launceston regularly so Alanna feels like she has a good break.
Alanna’s just been through a lot with losing her step father, and if she didn’t have that NDIS support, I don’t know where she’d be.”
Fittingly, Alanna’s NDIS support has extended to her working life, where she’s been able to increase her capacity at Blueline, who handle laundry contracts for the Launceston General Hospital, Ambulance Tasmania, regional hospitals and a variety of hotels and hospitality venues.
One of 22 supported workers, Alanna was carrying out linen folding and conveyer belt tasks, but Blueline support coordinator Cathryn, said since becoming an NDIS participant, Alanna had been able to build her capacity further.
“We make sure everyone has what they need and are working towards the goals they want. We implemented a bit of one on one time for Alanna with a support worker at work to learn skills that were a bit too tricky previously, or a risk,” Cathryn said.
‘We have a machine which folds sheets with a big drop off in front where dirty sheets fall in. With Alanna’s balance, it was a bit too risky for her, but now with the funding though NDIS, she has intensive support and can do more jobs like that.
“So, I feel she’s able to work everywhere now.”
Alanna has now set her sights on achieving her long-term goals. Continuing to build her work and social capacity through community connection and weekends away, Alanna said she now has the confidence to make a cross-country dream a reality.
“I used to be so introverted and would hide away, but now I’ve now been to Bruny Island, Hobart, Latrobe and Penguin, and I’m saving up as long-term I’d like to go on the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin,” Alanna said.
“I feel really positive about myself and feel I can achieve my goals. The NDIS has been really good for me.”