Sebastian is putting time to good use
When a crash in coal prices hit Australia’s mining industry, it also affected Sebastian Sadgrove.
The 28-year-old supported worker went from being employed three to four days a week, to just working two mornings a week. Earning less money, in a small town, there wasn’t a lot of other employment opportunities, nor did he have the funds to actively participate in his community.
But now, with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Sebastian has become a participant and he’s been able put his spare time to good use and live the life he chooses.
“I’m excited about being part of the NDIS,” he said. “It’s going to be a really exciting year for me!”
Working for Koora Industries, in the Hunter, Sebastian’s main tasks are painting surveying pegs and building pallets but now, with extra time on his hands and NDIS funding, he has been able to engage his provider, Challenge, to support him to do other meaningful activities he really enjoys.
“One of my favourite things to do is mowing,” he said. “I also like to paint – landscapes, trees, and rocks. Painting makes me feel good about myself. I like hanging something and achieving something at a higher level.
“I also like going to the Arts Centre and going to the café on the side of it,” he added.
Sebastian has also started back at the gym after having a two-year break.
“I go with my support worker Jamie,” he said. “He’s not really a gym person but he still goes with me, and he is like a mate.
Sebastian is also well on track to achieving one of his biggest goals. “I’d like to save up and go overseas one day but I don’t want to go on my own.
“I have three older brothers, an older sister and a younger sister so I’m hoping one of them will come with me,” he said.
Koora Industries Business Coordinator, Kim Beverstock said Sebastian is a wonderful and talented man, full of bounce and enthusiasm.
“He’s a great bloke,” she said. “He gets in and does anything!
“In our area (the Hunter), with the price of coal crashing, we lost about 30,000 jobs so it really affected our organisation,” Kim said.
“Now the guys only work from 8 am to 12 noon, two days a week. It’s left them with a lot of spare time but with the NDIS coming in that’s all changed, so from 12 noon to 4pm most afternoons, we can do activities with Sebastian. That’s when he gets to paint and a support worker helps him.
“Sebastian also back at the gym; he wants to do more walking and swimming when the weather gets warmer, and there’s a few activities out of town he would like to do. There’s a new bakery in another town everyone is talking about and he wants to visit. Now he can utilising his NDIS funds.”
Kim said Sebastian has come a long way from the young man who joined the organisation straight from school.
“Sebastian didn’t always feel comfortable in his surroundings, and it’s certainly something which has really changed for him,” she said.
“Now he is out and about in our community, people are more accepting. He’s amazing. He won’t shy away; he won’t stay at home; he loves getting out and about and often you’ll see him down the street by himself having lunch, but now I’ve noticed with all the guys NDIS plans coming through, they are all joining in and even having lunch together.
“We have a Ten Pin Bowling centre opening up soon and they’re all talking about starting up a team! It’s so exciting!
“We all were a bit worried about the NDIS coming in. It was new and we thought how’s this all going to work?
We don’t know how to do this – everyone was so up in the air about it but now we are starting to see great results and the guys are reaping the rewards,” Kim said.