IOE held its inaugural Parent and Carers Education retreat on the last weekend of July and the feedback we received has been overwhelming!
With the RACV resort at Inverloch as the destination it was an easy and leisurely drive for most people to arrive in time to greet and meet everyone on the Friday night.
A total of 95 people attended, a good indication of how needed this retreat weekend was for parents and carers.
The mood of the camp for the whole weekend was sociable, upbeat, relaxed and happy. For many it was their first experience of a weekend away from their ‘carer’ role. With mental health a major issue for many carers and parents, one of the retreat’s aims was to provide an environment that motivated people to get active and involved rather than just sit and relax – though there was plenty of time for that too.
A boxing session proved very popular with old and young, fit and unfit donning the gloves – it certainly helped to have a local, very fit young man leading the session! Yoga was also on the activity menu – all that stretching, positioning, breathing and focusing resulted in some very ‘spaced out’ but relaxed participants. CEO Fred of course led the beach walk – probably a little easier physically than his usual family camp mountain goat hikes. An afternoon session of dancing on the tennis courts saw a group learning some salsa moves plus having fun with the old favourites, Macarena and Nutbush. It was all about getting active, both physically and mentally.
Post Saturday night dinner (delicious) – entertainment was Theatre Sports, definitely the highlight of the weekend. Sarah and Tom from Misfit Theatre group facilitated the activities and had even the most reticent challenging their comfort zones as teams play-acted, mimed and performed, taking on the fun and challenges of the activities.
The following comment, just one of the many received, sums up the overall feeling of the weekend:
‘Thank you Fred, Frances & Kimberley for an outstanding weekend – you are the best! As we return home to our families, we have an extra skip in our step! An extra ounce of energy to tackle the week ahead! Many memories of wonderful new Carer experiences!’ – Joanne B, parent and carer
With the NDIS solely focusing on the person with a disability it is crucial that those responsible for their care, the parents, families and carers, are given as much support as possible so they can maintain their physical and mental well being. IOE will continue to provide this support.