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Real Estate & Business

15 February, 2021

Our Mates Place giving help while making it fun

AFTER one year, Our Mate’s Place has helped many disabled people around Mackay.

By Andrew Sorensen

Nadia Hunter (left), Shanae Lambertus (centre) and Eliza Laird (right) having fun at a dance party. Photo: Contributed

From humble origins in Eungella to an elaborate support centre, Our Mate’s place manager, Damien Watson, said they have come along way.

“It started in January but we’re having our one year anniversary – belated one year anniversary – in February, just simply because we’ve been so busy,” Mr Watson said.

He said their environment stands out as the aim of their well decorated facilities was to deliver an experience the disabled would not forget.

On top of that, they have countless opportunities to learn new skills, engage with others and make new friends.

All the while having fun!

“We do music and karaoke this morning, there’s cooking this morning,” he said.

“You come in and learn explicit skills.

“The thing we focus on more so than that, or as much as that, is the implicit skills of learning how to take turns, learning how to share with others.”

The sessions are participant driven, allowing input to be provided and for each group session to be different.

Each session is structured so participants have routine but enough so there is variety.

This also means people will help to set and pack up after each session.

Our Mate’s Place celebrated their first birthday on February 13 and had an open day, which featured a sausage sizzle and  each session on open display.

The day was open for everyone to come along and enjoy, providing a valuable opportunity to see the difference they make.

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