Sue lends a hand to her community

Published on 06 Jun 2023


Pictured (L to R): Sue and Nigel

  • Sue gets a boost from lending a hand in her home town of Katanning.
  • Her NDIS plan has helped improve her quality of life.

Sue is getting a boost from generously giving her time in her home of Katanning.

Located in the heart of Western Australia’s great southern region, Katanning is about four hours southeast of Perth.

Sue began her journey to gaining support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support in October last year.

She approached APM Communities senior local area coordinator (LAC) Nigel at the Katanning community resource centre.

During their first appointment, they discussed Sue’s rheumatoid arthritis, her needs, and the information she would need to make a successful request for NDIS support.

A couple of weeks later, Sue met with Nigel again to check over her information and application before submitting to the NDIS.

Sue’s application was successful, and an initial planning meeting was scheduled between Sue and Nigel in early January. During the planning meeting, it came up that Sue used to work for the Shire of Katanning.

“I had actually spent a year at home and was very socially isolated, this has now changed as my health has been improving so has my desire to once again be part of the community” Sue said.

She said she missed being able to work and to assist others in her community – and the joy she got from interacting with others.

People with disability can experience high levels of social isolation, which can be challenging to overcome with low social support or access to support services.

After this meeting, Sue’s plan was approved, and Nigel was able to link Sue with some local providers, who began to assist Sue in her home.

She got funding for therapy support from physiotherapists, occupational therapists and funding for a Plan Manager.

Her Functional Capacity Assessment improved understanding of what her needs were living with her disability, such as assistive technology, and how to go about acquiring it.

Additionally, she got funding for a support person if required, and to access the community and funding for home help or yard maintenance.

“NDIS was a complete game changer for me, I had to leave my work due to the rheumatoid arthritis and was at a total loss of how to move forward in gaining any of my health back and my life back on track” Sue said.

“Knowing I have the NDIS and people who I can go to for support is incredibly helpful. It has definitely taken a lot of stress away.”

Nigel was involved in the planning and promoting of the Katanning Harmony Festival in March.

The event allowed and encouraged people with disability to volunteer with either the preparation or the running of the event.

Sue signed up as an event volunteer, spending the day assisting at the Shire of Katanning’s information stall.

“It was great to see such an amazing display from all the various cultural groups coming together to celebrate not only their own cultures but also everyone else’s” Nigel said.

“It was such a lovely, friendly event with everyone having a great time.”

Today, Sue is enjoying volunteering with the Katanning library and art gallery.

She is looking forward to further volunteer work with the Shire, assisting them and enjoying some forthcoming local art exhibitions.

APM Communities delivers NDIS Partners in the Community services in parts of Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.

Our Local Area Coordinators (LACs) help people with disability, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, families and carers to identify and access the support they need.