Charley's Story

Charley's Story

Charley is one of the warmest, bubbliest people you will meet – there’s not much she loves more than a good chat, meeting new people and catching up with friends. She is confident and friendly and will strike up a conversation with anyone she meets. But this wasn’t always the case. Going back a couple of years, the thought of meeting new people or going new places would leave Charley feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Her regular social interactions were limited to work and TAFE - both of which are segregated environments. Lacking connection with her community meant Charley didn’t have the skills and confidence needed to go out into the world to meet people, try new things and experience all that life has to offer.

Over the past few years Charley has been working on developing these areas with support from Inclusion WA. She has worked on a number of areas such as conversation skills, learning to initiate social activities with friends via text/social media and trying out different things to figure out who she is, what she values and what makes her happy. From working in open employment, to social volleyball, dancing, art and games groups…the list goes on! Despite her reservations, Charley continually pushes herself to step out of her comfort zone. She lives by the motto “I’ll try anything at least once”. This can-do attitude, along with her perseverance and fierce determination has allowed Charley to push through challenges and become the outgoing person she is today. She has just finished her first season of netball – something that had been a personal goal for years. She has grown into a confident and skilled player and her coach says she can’t believe the difference in Charley from when she first started. She scored three goals in a row and helped her team win their first game. Being a valued member in a netball team has been incredibly rewarding for Charley – “It’s awesome”, she says, “I love it. I have so many friends now!”. Not only has she made new friends, improved her fitness and built her confidence – she now actually gets excited to try new things and meet new people. So much so that she’s now in the process of starting up her own social event in her local area through Befriend, combining two of her favorite pastimes – coffee and chats! This is one of Charley’s goals for 2019.

Since the netball season finished she’s caught up with new friends over dinner and movies. She also has a newfound motivation to get fit and be in good shape when the new netball season starts up. She’s now a regular face at her local gym and yoga studio. She is reaping the benefits with improved physical and mental health. Charley is now excited for life, and for the possibilities of what lies ahead – her life is getting so full that she’s running out of space on her calendar to to fit everything in!

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