Toodyay Inclusive Community Program
The Shire of Toodyay with the support of Inclusion WA hosted the fifth edition of the Toodyay Inclusive Community Program in January. The event saw an impressive 700 participants involved in a range of inclusive sport and recreational activities throughout the week. Local community members ranged from 2 to 80 years of age. The community owned program delivered a whopping 1366 hours of inclusive sport and recreation to the local community in January.
With over 100 local community members participating at certain sessions, the need for such a program is clearly evident. The First Aid Fun program hosted by the Toodyay and districts St John Ambulance Sub branch had a significant amount of positive feedback from the local community. The idea of this program was to teach community members of all ages the basics of first aid, helping young kids in particular to learn new life skills, recognise what an emergency is, recognise danger and how to call for an ambulance in an emergency. Additionally, community members were able to join as volunteers in an ongoing fashion. “You know I love this program but this morning’s First Aid Fun run by Toodyay & Districts SJAB would have to be the best ever! My 2 kids learnt so much and were stoked to have received a certificate & a show bag. THANK YOU so much for providing this activity as part of the program!” - Tanya Browne Baker, Toodyay resident.
The events have really helped in bringing the entire community of Toodyay together. Since the program was developed in January 2015, anti-social behaviour and youth related crimes have dropped significantly throughout the holiday periods. The program also serves as a stepping stone into the mainstream community and has had significant success in transitioning non-club members into valued members of local community groups.
Not only did the program introduce and welcome new members, it has helped locals to learn what is available to them in their local community. One of the local mothers living in the community had been driving to Perth to assist Will, her six year old son with Autism, to engage in sport and recreational activities. As a result of attending a number of activities throughout the week, Will’s mum realised that there was just as much potential for Will to grow and engage in the local Toodyay community. Through the Toodyay Community Program, Will has been able to try ten different activities, all of which Will can attend in an ongoing manner.
The program has successfully seen many individuals learn about what is available to them locally and facilitated the successful transition of many participants to the participating clubs. Overall the week encouraged all community members to engage in local activities and also to invest their time in volunteering and assisting in the events, making this community program truly unique.
“Would just like to say a huge thanks to Kristee and the team, this has been a Godsend for me. New to town, wondering what I was going to do, the kids enjoyed themselves and now my daughter wants to play tennis! I’m glad they got to meet some local kids before they started the daunting task of a new school. What a great program!” - Jonelle, new community member form New Zealand.
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