Bridging the gap for disabled people in Northern Rivers

An exciting new pilot project called Creative Collaborations is underway in the Northern Rivers thanks to a $11,990 grant from the ETC Community Support Fund.

House with No Steps (HWNS) Area Manager Tina Purdon said they felt privileged and honoured that they we were chosen as a grant recipient.

“I’d really like to express my deepest appreciation for the support from ETC. This has enabled us to look outside of the realm of what we can normally do with the people we support,” Ms Purdon said.

The name Creative Collaborations was created by the enthusiastic group of young people that attend the House with No Steps in Ballina.

“Creative Collaborations is a project made up of the young adults with a disability attending the HWNS Ballina Day Service. They have been producing artwork within the context of their day program since the beginning of 2014,” Ms Purdon said.

“The ETC grant will fund a market stall to give the young people with a disability the opportunity to display and sell their art, in a genuine community and artisan marketplace.”

The local market stall will encompass all different types of media to make artwork and provide art experiences.

Ms Purdon said the stall wouldn’t be run by HWNS staff, but the people that they support.

“We want them to be the leaders and drivers of this. They have some great leadership skills and they know what they want to achieve, they just need a little bit of help to get there,” Ms Purdon said.

The first market staff ran in December and was well received in the community.

“The key thing is around developing acceptance of people with disabilities. Often people haven’t had the opportunity to be exposed to people with disabilities. A friendly local market is a great environment to meet these people,” Ms Purdon said.

“They have some great skills and great things to offer our community. It will increase their ability to accept people with disabilities.”

Creative Collaborations is looking to change the focus of the markets to include a photo booth with the goal to eventually run these at local music festivals.

ETC Director Tony Walker said it was a pleasure to be able to support the House with No Steps.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr Walker said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.”

The next round of the ETC Community Support Fund opens 10 August and $200,000 in grants will be available. To find out more information and apply please visit: www.etcltd.com.au/csf/

House with No Steps provides a range of support services to adults and children with a disability. For more information about their services please visit: www.hwns.com.au

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