Celebrating Our WA Disability Support Award Nominees – Jeremy Hall

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Celebrating Our WA Disability Support Award Nominees

Jeremy and Regan doing woodwork at the Fremantle Men's Shed
Jeremy and Regan doing woodwork at the Fremantle Men’s Shed

Congratulations Jeremy Hall!

Nominated for the WA Disability Award for Excellence in Supporting Social Inclusion by Interchange customer, Regan.

Jeremy Hall has displayed true excellence supporting Interchange customer Regan, encouraging him to become an active member in his local community through the Fremantle Men’s Shed and helping him to discover hidden talents and new skills along the way.

I know the feeling of not being included and the impact it has on your life. I can truly relate to the people I support and want to break down barriers for and with them to participate in whatever they like and be included. – Jeremy Hall, Support Worker Interchange WA

Support Worker Jeremy understood the importance of social inclusion from a very young age. Growing up, Jeremy severely struggled at school, got put down, judged and disciplined on multiple occasions for his ‘challenging and disruptive behaviour.’ It wasn’t until his teens that Jeremy was diagnosed with ADHD, a medical condition that affects attention span, self-control and the ability to sit still.

Having ADHD myself, I am able to relate to people and their behaviours. It is important to be accepted, have a place to be safe, valued and welcome. And sometimes trying new things is exactly what you need to get there. – Jeremy Hall, Support Worker Interchange WA

When Jeremy first met Regan, a 23-year-old sport enthusiast, he was mainly involved in physical activities like footy, cricket and golf. Unfortunately, Regan suffered from regular seizures. With 20 years of experience as a Support Worker, Jeremy soon realised Regan’s seizures worsened when doing strenuous exercise. In an aim to redirect his interests and passions, Jeremy started talking to him about exploring alternative activities.

After attending an Interchange art group a few times, Jeremy could see that Regan definitely had a creative spark. A member of the Fremantle Men’s Shed himself, Jeremy invited Regan to join him to do some woodwork. That was eighteen months ago. Since then, encouraged by Jeremy, Regan now attends the Men’s Shed regularly and has developed a real passion for woodwork and pyrography. His skills and social life have both progressed significantly and he has produced a truly impressive collection of finished works.

I enjoy coming to the Men’s Shed with Jeremy. I get to be creative and feel accepted and like I belong. Everyone is nice and appreciates the work I do. They even put some of my pieces for sale in the shop. – Regan McCoy, Customer Interchange WA

Regan clearly loves being part of this group in his local community, as he can meet new people and explore his creative talents further. Likewise, they enjoy having Regan as part of the gang and praise his budding craftmanship.

It’s great to have Regan on board. He has crafted some incredible pieces in the past year and it’s a pleasure chatting with him at lunch time. He is a valued member of the Men’s Shed – He is one of us. – Stuart, Member Fremantle Men’s Shed

With an impressive collection of chopping boards, drums and picture frames created in the last year, Regan’s just getting started. He’s proud of his achievements regarding his woodwork. His goal for next year is to make even more pieces to sell in the shop. The money he will save and invest in further equipment and materials for his woodwork. He enjoys learning new things and working independently.

Jeremy helps me to achieve my goals by building up my confidence and encouraging me to try new things. He points out different options to me and lets me choose which way I want to go. It feels good to make my own choices but having someone there to encourage me. – Regan McCoy, Customer Interchange WA

Regan’s been with Interchange for almost three years. During this time, Jeremy has had a huge impact on his life. Regan’s seizures have drastically reduced and his self-confidence and social skills have developed considerably. He also now has a job and works three times a week. Regan feels like he is a valued part of his community with an active social life.

While Regan currently loves to spend every free minute working on his woodcraft and socialising with the locals, we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this budding artisan. Thank you, Jeremy, for being such an incredible support person to Regan. And thank you, Regan, for sharing your amazing story.