People bustling along ANZAC shopping mall in Campsie on a Thursday in October enjoyed an inspiring showcase offered by SSI’s Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) program, which supports people with disability, their families and carers.
Ability Links coordinators, called Linkers, hosted the event as a way to speak with the Campsie community about what ALNSW can do for them.
Linkers provide a locally based, first point of contact for people with disabilities who wish to access services in their local communities. SSI, in partnership with St Vincent de Paul and UnitingCare, delivers the Ability Links NSW program in more than 40 local government areas. Ability Links NSW Operations Manager Steve Gholab said the showcase event was about reaching out and engaging with the community.
“The objective of today was to let the public know that Ability Links NSW and its Linkers are here for them, and to educate the community about the availability of the program in the area,” Mr Gholab said. “We chose this location in Campsie because it is well known and popular and it allowed us to connect with people from diverse backgrounds help them discover more about the supports Ability Links NSW can provide for them.”
Linkers spoke to people from the Campsie community about their role connecting individuals with support they may need and working with them to follow their interests, join new activities and participate in their local communities.
People who stopped by the street showcase also enjoyed a delicious free lunch, as well as entertainment that included music, dancers, henna painting and balloons shaped into animals.
“We are very happy with the outcome of the event," Mr Gholab said, "as we were able to have some great conversations with people walking past. There was a lot of interest in knowing what Ability Links is and what we can do for the community. Some even asked for referrals and support on the spot”.
The Campsie area has a large percentage of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The strength of SSI's Ability Links NSW program is its bilingual and bicultural Linker staff that can provide support to people in the community for whom English is not their first language.