Michael Mike Erkelens is the resident social butterfly at Interchange and we are incredibly proud to have supported him for the past 25 years.
He always greets everyone with a smile and a hello, and he’s the first to put his hand up to organise any social occasion.
When we started supporting Mike, his primary goal was to learn skills that enabled him to live more independently. We worked with Mike to develop his meal preparation and cooking skills to the point where he became a confident cook with a wide-ranging repertoire of meals. For several years now, he has shared cooking responsibility with his three housemates and his current favourite dish to cook is sweet and sour pork with noodles.
Mike continues to attend a regular cooking group and he now chooses a new dish to cook each week. He has also developed the skills to budget for and buy the food he needs for each new weekly recipe.
In the early days, we also supported to further his education through several TAFE courses, including a leadership program which helped Mike develop the skills he needed to be a member of the Interchange Customer Social Club. Through his role in the social club, Mike has been instrumental in organising many bowling competitions, BBQs, discos and birthday parties over the years.
He is also an avid sports lover, playing regular games of soccer, basketball and ten pin bowling. Mike plays a game of ten pin bowling with his housemates every week and loves it so much that he bought his own personalised bowling ball.
He is also very creative and loves to attend regular music and art groups. His favourite instrument is the drums.
Mike is also a massive Swing and Big Band music fan, citing American artist Glenn Miller as his favourite. We regularly support Mike to attend jazz concerts and visit the library, where he borrows CDs to listen to while he is at home.
Mike has a great relationship with his siblings and regularly sees his sisters for dinner. He loves to visit his sisters at their homes and spend time with his nieces and nephews.