The NSW Government will provide additional support for a Northern Beaches initiative providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
NSW Premier and Member for Manly Mike Baird and Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka today visited Manly West Public School to announce the additional $100,000 one-off grant for Bushlink with Co-ordinator Cathy Hockey.
They watched students and people with disabilities taking part in the Bushlink School’s program maintain vegetation on the school grounds, before joining in to plant an olive tree in the school’s vegetable garden.
“Bushlink is a great local initiative that allows people with a disability to join a gardening team and make a positive contribution in the community,” Mr Baird said.
“It’s great to see students participating with the Bushlink teams and allowing people with disabilities to work in an atmosphere of support and inclusion.”
Mr Ajaka said the Bushlink Open Supported Employment program would receive the funding via a $100,000 one-off grant to Northside Enterprise Inc., which operates the Bushlink program and supports people with disability to learn new skills and lead independent lives.
“We’re committed to increasing opportunities for people with disability and we’re proud to be supporting a program that helps create a more inclusive society,” Mr Ajaka said.
The Bushlink program uses an open supported employment model to provide daily, ongoing support for participants in the program. The additional funding will support the creation of a second Bushlink team.
Ms Hockey said regular visits by Bushlink teams allowed those taking part in the program to become a part of the school community.
“Having the Bushlink teams work alongside students helps kids gain the confidence to embrace inclusion throughout their lives.”