Network Futures’ Opportunities

July 24, 2014

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There have been some exciting changes at IOE’s Balanced Options for Adults post school site in Lilydale over the last few months. A second site has opened, next door to the existing site in Clarke Street, and is now the home of the 24years + group. The Network Futures group (18 – 24year olds) is now based solely at the pre-existing Clarke street site.

With the expanded service, Network Futures has welcomed three new participants with Simon, Alison and Melissa all joining the program at the beginning of term 3.

One of the many and varied programs operating out of Network is the ‘House Intensive’ initiative. This intensive has been in operation for a number of years now but has been embraced and developed by the Lilydale site, with participants living in for 2 days at Wattletree Cottage in Warburton.

The house intensive program is designed to provide a ‘real’ environment for those young adults wanting to increase independent living skills. It provides an opportunity to learn and practice relevant skills in a real-life environment. It also aims to build confidence and develop the skills required for the young adults to live in their current home environment and in the future, outside the family home.

Some of the school leavers (Futures group) were involved in the house intensive program during last term and at the end of the term showcased their newly learned skills by inviting their families and some lucky staff to attend the house for dinner. The group did a wonderful job preparing a three course meal for everyone. Not only did they cook but were involved in all the organisation for the evening, including planning the menu, shopping, budgeting, meal preparation, sending out invitations and washing up. The result was a lovely meal of bruschetta, spaghetti and chocolate fudge brownies that everyone agreed was delicious!

Network has also been exploring some new and exciting program opportunities. Six participants are involved in a Fit Club that runs two days a week. This fitness intensive program is designed to educate participants in all aspects of healthy living. The group have been exploring different sports and activities, which has led to the development of connections with local sports clubs. They have also been preparing meals, developing meal plans and gaining education on healthy eating, healthy living and exercise. So far this has proven to be educational, informative but also enjoyable!

Two participants will also be doing work experience and hospitality training based at Knox Leisure Works. They will be gaining hands-on experience in many aspects of hospitality whilst achieving a useful qualification at the same time.

Network Futures has had a busy start to this block and staff and young adults alike are looking forward to the exciting term that lies ahead.

By Luke Adams


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