The group participated in Independent Living Skills week at Scope James Street in July, which focused on activities that developed skills for more independent living. The week ran as part of a Scope innovation project that spoke to participants and their families to get input and feedback about their experience of using respite services.

Charlie, Samuel, Thomas, Mitchell and Maree shared tasks such as making dinner, cleaning, and laundry and worked together to plan and host an afternoon tea for their families.

Charlie says she wasn’t sure at first how she would go, but surprised herself. “This week has shown me that I can go to school, do my homework and still get the dishes done! I’m going to try and help out at home more.”

Mitchell says of the week, “it’s been chilled out. My favourite chore has been making my bed every day.”

“I cooked spaghetti bol from a recipe. I normally only cook every second Wednesday when I have a support worker, so it’s been good to cook more than I normally do,” says Maree, joking that she’s “looking forward to Sunday night when all the staff are going to have their turn to do the chores, while I take it easy!”

The participants put in a great effort during the week, not just in getting their own tasks done but also being really encouraging of each other to contribute in whatever way they can.

Cathy Carroll, coordinator of Scope James Street says respite support offers an opportunity for participants to experience staying away from the family home, and this can make the transition to leaving home easier when they are ready.

Photo: Mitchell making his bed as part of Independent Living Skills week.