No Limits for this social group linking young adults with disability with peers

Milly And Steel No Limits

Milly is quite the social butterfly. So when the teen finished school last year, her parents worried about the social options available to her.

While she had programs catering to her interests and skill development, Janet and Paul were concerned that many social groups included people beyond her peer group.

‘Because she was no longer at school, she was too old to do the groups for teens and she also wanted to move on,’ Janet says. ‘But the social groups available had such a wide age bracket. So we were so pleased when No Limits started.’

Gateways created the No Limits program in Geelong specifically for school leavers to socialise with others aged 18 to 25 years. The weekend social group offers a range of outings from movies and ice cream with friends to trips to Melbourne Zoo and Serendip Sanctuary.

Coordinator  Jenny Schmidt  says No Limits was developed to meet a gap in the options available for young people with disabilities to make new friends and socialise with other young adults.

For most school leavers, turning 18 comes with the independence of a driver’s licence and the ability to go out with peers or make new friends at places where other young people hang out. But it is not always so simple for a young person with a disability who may be more reliant on parents, carers or support workers,’ Jenny says.

These young people still want to meet and hang out with others their age who share similar interests and life experiences, but often have less capacity to find these opportunities on their own.’

Janet says her daughter’s intellectual disability also made it very important to find social opportunities that were not only fun, but also safe.

Milly can now go and enjoy these social outings with other young people, which grows her confidence and independence, and we know she is safe and under supervision,’ Janet says.

Participants also have a say in their activities, with dinners and brainstorming sessions enabling the group to make their own suggestions for outings.

Milly says her favourite things to do – apart from looking after her neighbour’s cat, Steel – include shopping, going to the gym, bowling, having her hair and nails done and going to the movies with friends. 

‘I like going out and socialising with everyone. I like hanging out with my friends and my friends take care of me,’ she says. 

Milly has her sights on moving out of home and living independently and is working towards putting her interests in cooking and helping others into a food service role at an aged care facility.

To find out more about No Limits, visit the program page. 

See our western Melbourne recreation pages for young adult programs in those areas.

 

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