News

VMCH: Now’s the time to have ‘Your Say’

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Villa Maria Catholic Homes
 
Having a place to call home means different things to different people. When choosing a home, personal preference plays a big part in the design and development of housing and accommodation.
 
Designing modern residential living for people of varying ability’s requires consensus on meeting the needs of very diverse individuals and the expectation, not only will their needs be met but they will have opportunity to participate in the community around them.
 
As a developer of specialist disability accommodation, VMCH don’t take this responsibility lightly. The ability to engage with the community and reflect common demands is part of a plan to ensure new developments start with feedback from consumers who may end up living in one of their residences.
 
VMCH Customer Experience Officer Liz Ellis recently enjoyed the experience of moving into her own apartment. Participants at the VMCH Community Consultation on a proposed development in Ivanhoe, enjoyed hearing Liz’s story and her journey to independent living.
 
Moving into her new apartment in January 2019, for the first time, Liz is living on her own and loving it.
 
‘Now that I am here, it still feels a bit surreal. Six years ago, I wouldn’t have thought this would be possible.’
 
During those six years, Liz lived in group housing with people much older than her.
 
‘I was in my 20’s and the people I lived with were in their 50’s. We had nothing in common.’
 
She knew it was not right for her and says the introduction of the NDIS made it possible for her to dream of something better and think differently.
 
Like many people who have only experienced group home living, Liz found it hard to imagine the possibilities and dream big.
 
‘I had a dream to live somewhere else. I had no idea what was possible or what it would look like,’ she said.
 
By sharing her story with others, Liz hopes she can inspire others to think outside the box.
 
‘You have to stay really determined to find a living arrangement that suits you.’
 
VMCH General Manager, Disability Services David Williamson, says community consultation was an important part of ensuring VMCH is creating homes that people love to live in.
 
‘We want to make sure we are moving forward and being innovative, so we can demonstrate continuous improvement and align to the varying needs of residents, families and potential project partners.’
 
VMCH recently held two consultation sessions in Macleod to hear what people were looking for as a next step in finding a new home. A range of people provided valuable feedback on what they are looking for now and in the future.
 
A strong sentiment across groups was the hope that a range of models could be developed to ensure people with complex support needs could live confidently in the community.
 
VMCH recently launched its new digital community consultation platform yoursay.vmch.com.au
 
The site will provide an ongoing channel for people to feedback directly into planning for future projects, developments and services.
 
‘We’re excited to work more closely with the community to envisage what is possible in the future.’ says David Williamson.
 
You can have your say here: https://yoursay.vmch.com.au
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