This is a story about a client of The Tipping Foundation being assisted by disability support staff to achieve his outcome of earning some money independently while accessing the community, along with some added health benefits.
Stephen, who’s from the East Gippsland region, is an avid collector of matchbox cars. He was also saving up to go on a holiday so wanted to have more access to employment to earn extra money. He’d previously worked for the local supermarket and a fast food restaurant but had found this work quite difficult. Stephen’s doctor had told him he needed more activity and exercise for his health.
Tipping support staff collaborated with Stephen and a local printing business to source him a new job delivering pamphlets to letterboxes and households for local businesses in the community near Stephen’s home.
Stephen started his pamphlet delivery job in the Summer, which involved collecting pamphlets from a pick-up point, sorting them and delivering them to a map, one block at a time. Staff supported Stephen on his rounds initially including helping him to understand and avoid ‘No junk mail’ and dog signs, but eventually once he got the hang of this he was able to complete his rounds independently.
Often deliver runs would take 3-4 days to complete, and Stephen became well known in his neighbourhood, getting to know members of the community while he did his deliveries. Some even waited for him if they could see him coming, stopping for a chat and sometimes even sharing home-made snacks!
Stephen loved the social interaction from the job. And just as importantly his health improved. He is now fitter, has lost weight and has a lot more energy. His diabetes improved and his sugar levels went right down. His family and GP were very pleased. The motivation he gained from this job has seen Stephen want to do more exercise – he’s since started going to the gym, loving the pushbike and spa to keep up his level of activity.
Stephen achieved his goal, he thrived and grew in confidence which enabled him to participate and feel valued in his own community.