With the right supports Holly’s passion is now her career

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Holly McSeveney has turned her passion for photography into a rewarding and fulfilling career, with the help of her NDIS funding.

The talented 32-year-old, who has schizophrenia, a panic disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is now running her own photography business.

Holly is commissioned to work at private and public functions. She also spends time outside of work scouting for suitable locations to visually capture the world around her.

Holly sells her creative imagery online and proudly entertains 10,400 Instagram followers. They have discovered her talent and are keen to see what she produces next.

‘Photography has really helped me to express, share and improve my mental health – when I’m behind the camera I’m in my happy place,’ Holly said.

Self-managing her NDIS plan with the help of mum Wendy, Holly said it’s been great to be able to engage her own supports and tailor them to suit her immediate needs.

‘I’ve been lucky with support workers,’ Holly said. ‘I’ve been with Agnes, from Sense Of Care, for a while now. She’s been excellent.

Holly McSeveney VIC landscape looking at website with mum

‘The supports I receive have really improved my life and I’m functioning better than ever.’

Holly said they have had a good experience engaging supports.

‘When we contacted Agnes it was great. She arranged to meet with mum and I face-to-face. She listened to me, to my goals and what I was hoping to achieve. She was empathetic, and I could see she understood the mental health challenges I faced.’

Agnes then set out to put steps in place to turn Holly’s goals into reality.

‘Agnes knew I didn’t have the confidence or the IT skills to build my own online photography business, so she found me a support worker with the right skills who could.’

‘It meant so much to me. With my mental health I can get overloaded quickly. Then I get restless. To have a support worker who understands me and can work with me really helped to build my confidence and it enabled me to take that first big step.

‘Now I have my own website individualphotography.com.au which I’m proud of and I love sharing my photos on Instagram (hollymc7y).

‘Agnes has been amazing. She takes me out on photography shoots regularly,’ Holly said.

‘We’re doing one this weekend. I wanted to do a photography shoot to visually promote schizophrenia.

‘Agnes and I are going to go to a grungy parking complex. I’m going to use her as a prop and do multiple exposures of her to visually illustrate voices talking all around her.’

Functioning better than ever with lots of good days and the odd bad, Holly and Wendy say they are forever grateful for NDIS supports.
Both say being able to self-manage Holly’s plan has been ideal.

If their main support worker Agnes isn’t available to support Holly they can go online and choose other suitable freelance support workers to fill the void.

Wendy said she also worked in aged care for a while.

‘I met some really caring support workers, so I spoke to a few I thought would work well with Holly. I’ve used them. They’ve been really good, and they have Australian Business Numbers (an NDIS requirement).

‘With Holly’s sporadic support needs, it means we get to choose exactly what supports she has, when and how often. I wouldn’t have it any other way,’ Wendy said.