Australia’s special workforce were celebrated at a special event for National Carers Week in Perth’s north.
APM Communities, Carers WA and Hillarys Boardwalk collaborated to bring a day of fun, music and mindfulness at an inaugural event for carers while raising awareness of their special role in society.
Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.
The team comprised of Clare Wheeler, Sara McNamara and Paige Wilson were approached by Hillarys Boardwalk staff to host a day to celebrate the work of carers and all agreed the resulting event was a resounding success.
Community Capacity Builder (CCB) Sara McNamara said the event came about after the APM Communities North Metro team held a pop-up stall at Hillarys marina promoting an accessible beaches initiative The North Metro CCB team organised the event in conjunction with Carers WA and Hillarys Boardwalk.
“APM organised for multiple community organisations and charities to be part of the day. Hillarys Boardwalk kindly provided a petting zoo and live music through the Northern Ukulele Group who volunteered their time, and beautiful music, on the day, Sara said.
Sara said the purpose of the event was to celebrate the important and valuable contribution by carers for the community, and those they support, during Carers Week 2020.
She said the overwhelming feedback given by attendees was that they thoroughly enjoyed the event and hoped it would become a regular yearly offering.
“We believe that over 200 people attended the day and their interaction through singing, dancing and smiles said it all!” Sara said
“We had lots of people sharing their messages of support on the carers’ wall and engagement with other stall holders” she added.
The added benefit of the event was that it prompted inquiry about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and generated interest in CCB projects.
“We had multiple conversations around APM, accessing the NDIS, we also shared current CCB projects which include Accessible Beaches for All, Travel Buddies and International Day of People with Disability where we gained new working group members.”
Sara said the team hoped the event would continue to be an annual celebration and collaboration with CarersWA and Hillarys Boardwalk.
CCB service area manager Simon Kincart praised the work of organisers for highlighting and celebrating the valuable work done by carers.
The event also had a flow-on effect with event attendees exploring boardwalk retail and hospitality outlets.
“There was a tremendous buzz around the boardwalk, not only at the event itself but within the cafes and restaurants where people were happy to rest up, have a bite to eat before carrying on enjoying the activities,” Simon said.
“Many stayed after the event, soaking up the atmosphere; a testament to the sense of welcome generated.”
Simon added this proved that being inclusive and accessible was not only beneficial for patrons but also for businesses too because they increased their client base.
As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.