Activ congratulates support worker Sarah Kingdon for being nominated for a WA Disability Support Award in two categories – Excellence in Supporting Inclusion and Citizenship and Excellence in Regional Support.
Sarah was nominated for her leadership role in the running of social activities for people with disability living in Geraldton – increasing people’s confidence, access to the community, opportunities for meeting friends and independence.
In particular, Sarah played an active role in setting up a local social group for people with disability called Geraldton Catch Up Times and arranging a talent evening for the group.
Established in January 2020, Sarah, together with a former Activ support worker, set out to rectify a gap in social activities for people with disability and established the Geraldton Catch Up Times.
This group is for Geraldton people with disability, their friends, family members and support workers from different organisations. The purpose of the group is to connect people with disability and the broader community, through a range of social activities, which are communicated on a closed Facebook group.
Today, the group has over 110 members. The highlight event held by the group and promoted through this Facebook page is a monthly disco, which Sarah regularly assists with and supports her customers to attend.
Recently, Sarah was also the organiser of a successful talent evening for the group. The event was a fundraiser to raise some much-needed funds to ensure the group’s viability.
26-year-old Kiralee, who is an Activ customer, is a member of the Geraldton Catch Up Times group. Kiralee attends the monthly disco and performed at the talent evening. She enjoys playing musical instruments and has performed playing the xylophone and kalimba.
“It makes me feel really good to perform, I get really excited and when I played my instruments everyone appreciated me doing it. I didn’t win but I did a good job.
“Sarah is very good and she’s very friendly, and she gave me the courage to get up there and give it a go.
“I like watching the other performances too and I had a great time dancing; I danced all night and I really loved it,” said Kiralee.
Kiralee’s mum Julie said the Geraldton Catch Up Times group is the only social outlet for people with disability in Geraldton.
“Because there’s not much for people with disability to do in Geraldton, this group is the only outlet where they can get together, be themselves, make friends and be part of the community. The activities they get to do together makes them feel like they fit in a lot better. Without it we would all just be sitting at home.
“Being a part of the group also greatly improves their mental health and their ability to socialise,” said Julie.
“Sarah thinks outside the square and she really encourages people to step outside their comfort zone and give things a go. I like that she’s not afraid to let people have a go at doing different things – this makes her stand out.”
Activ Customer Operations Manager Midwest Louise Robertson said without Sarah’s drive and passion, there most likely would not be a broad local group to connect people with disability in Geraldton to social activities and events.
“Through having this outlet, people with disability are given the opportunity to access the community, try new activities, build their confidence, take part in social events and meet with friends and family regularly,” said Louise.
“With the talent show itself, Sarah is fantastic with supporting customers to prepare for their performances, so much so that she often joins in the performances if customers would like her to. At the recent event she sang a duet with one of our customers who felt shy about performing on their own. You could see how thrilled this customer was to be on stage and performing, and Sarah played a huge role in supporting this customer to have the confidence to do so.
“We need people like Sarah in our regional communities; she has made a hugely positive impact to the lives of many people with disability in the Geraldton community.”
Congratulations Sarah on your nomination – you would be a worthy recipient of a WA Disability Support Award. At Activ we are proud to have people like Sarah on our team. If you are interested in joining our team, check out our Careers page.