Everyone's together

News article

Everyone's together
It’s a joyous place to come to’, says Karin, a support worker at Larchfield community. ‘What I love about it is there’s no differentiation between who is a community member and who is staff. Everyone’s together.’

Giving and receiving
‘There’s an awareness that having a learning disability isn’t a global disability’, Karin continues. ‘That everyone has their areas of expertise and strength.

‘For example, many of our community members are particularly skilled emotionally. They’re understanding and supportive when someone is having a bad day. Everything works both ways here.’
Supporting people to achieve

Along with supporting residents in Larchfield’s houses, Karin spends much of her time with the community’s Learn to lead group facilitating them to carry out their own projects. People in the group ‘identify things they want to plan, create and change’, she explains. Their projects are designed to benefit the whole community.

This year, the energetic group has organised bingo and quiz nights, planned Larchfield’s 30th anniversary celebrations, painted and decorated the community’s activity room, revamped the signage around Larchfield, and held a design competition to refresh the iconic cow sculpture at the entrance (it’s now an attractive cinnamon and white colour).

At the moment, there’s much excitement about the new emblem they’ve co-designed for the group.

Recognising excellence
Karin was a nominee and finalist in the prestigious National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards this year – an honour she shared with her Larchfield colleague Jeanette, and Michele from Botton Village.

Once she got over the surprise of being nominated, she was very grateful: ‘It wasn’t just for myself. The people I work with are a part of it. It was for all of us, and a community where everyone is valued for who they are.’