I had known Maurice for almost six months and during that time we had built up a very good relationship of trust, fun and candour. Always hesitant about catching public transport, it took Maurice over a year to be confident enough to leave his home and travel in our Interchange vehicles. He now wants to become more independent and mobile in his community.
On a beautiful, sunny Monday morning we decided it was a good day for us both to step outside our comfort zone and try something new. For too long the ferry ride into the city had been just a dream, a distant goal. But today that dream would come true.
Community facilitators at our Maddington Service Centre have been excited about Maurices progress toward achieving his goals. He has made many small but significant steps to becoming more confident and mobile in the community.
I picked Maurice up at his Group Home and greeted him with the usual handshakes and smiles. Maurice needs help to communicate effectively, so we played our usual sound vocalisation games, as well as some musical favourites, as Maurice sat in his favourite seat in the van. Knowing that Maurice was in a confident mood (and having the approval of my manager), I asked Maurice if he would like to take the ferry into the city. He clapped his hands and looked excited as we approached South Perth foreshore.
Maurice hopped out of the vehicle with no prompting, reinforcing another goal on his Individual Plan. A few shaky but determined steps followed. Then, all of a sudden, a triumphant expression appeared on his face, and he strode onto the ferry! For Maurice, this was uncharted waters his first time on a boat.
As we rolled across the waves to our destination at Barrack Street Jetty, I could see the excitement and wonder sparkling in Maurices eyes. He displayed tremendous courage and persistence, and trust that he could safely achieve his dreams.
It made me so proud and honoured to support Maurice on this special journey, and to watch him break down some of the barriers that he struggles with every day. A smile and thumbs up was enough for me to know that Maurice had gained new confidence and independence in finally achieving this important goal.
Maddington Service Centre