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Larissa has been gently encouraging Natalie (or as Natalie would say ‘bossily’ telling her) to have a look at her spending habits and find a better routine day to day. Natalie has recently started to focus on this. So far Natalie says saving and learning how to cook for herself has been really rewarding and is planting the seeds for some big plans!

I met Larissa at Scope’s Supported Independent Living (SIL) home in Minto. My first impressions of her were that she was funny and that she is very supportive and listens to what I have to say.

Larissa always tells me to clean my room and get dressed, she is the bossiest person I’ve ever met… Deep down I know it’s because she just wants the best for me.

I am a bit of a shop-a-holic. I really like to spend money. I was working part-time at a fast-food restaurant for a while and getting food delivered for dinner four or five times a week which meant that I couldn’t afford to do the things I want or pay for things myself.

Larissa has helped me realise that maybe I should try and save some of my money and has encouraged me to learn how to cook for myself. I aim to cook most nights now and only order delivery once a week as a treat which is still fun!

Even though I like spending money, saving it has really helped me. Everyone was telling me how expensive it was but it’s only now I’ve started saving I can see how it was really adding up. I’ve been able to pay for some of my own medical appointments and I saved enough to get my hair professionally straightened.

That’s something that Larissa and I share, we both love girly stuff like hair and nails. Just the other day she was helping me do my nails and the glue got on my hands and we thought they were stuck, I was laughing and joking that I like her, but I don’t want to be stuck to her forever!

Another funny thing that happened once is that it was winter but weirdly hot and all-day Larissa kept joking around how nice it was to be in the Bahamas. We’ve got heaps of funny memories together!

Now I know I can save; I am saving up for a new phone and hopefully a holiday next year. I’m still deciding where to go but I’m thinking Queensland or Brisbane or maybe even Melbourne.

In the future, I would like a long-term relationship and to move out. I also think about the big things like getting married and having a family but who knows!

When I started working at the SIL house at Minto, I remember Natalie from my very first visit. She was bubbly and welcoming and keen to show me around and make sure I knew everything I needed to. It was such a nice welcome as a manager coming into a new service.

In the time I’ve known Nat, she has grown so much. She can put herself in situations that challenge her but also help her to grow.

When I met her, she was much more impulsive and didn’t really stick to a routine. It’s been great to see what Nat can achieve with a little bit of discipline. I know she has started to get excited about the changes she might be able to achieve which is so great to see.

Natalie’s helping nature hasn’t changed since that first day, I’m hopeless at navigating and she is great at it so if we ever go somewhere and I’m not sure where we are going, I trust her to be the navigator and get us to where we need to be.

It’s always a laugh to work with Nat too, something comical always happens when we play soccer, or basketball or go shopping. Whether it’s laughing at smelly feet or someone falling in the mud, it’s always a good time.

Looking into the future, I would like to see Natalie keep building up the positive role models in her life. I would love to see her learn the skills she needs to be more independent and find a job that she enjoys and that uses her natural skills. I want her to have all the things that other people have, a partner, a home and anything else she wants!

Supported Independent Living

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SIL Participant Doug and Lifestyle Mentor Poli met through Scope and their joint love of loud music, cars and mischief has quickly blossomed into a great working relationship and friendship.

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Supported Independent Living

Room for a pet paradise

Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses make it possible for housemates to have and care for their own pets.