Updated: Jun 17
✦ SupPort Macquarie is a disability support and education programme in Port Macquarie that meets participants where they're at and supports them in progressing towards their goals.
SupPort Macquarie is a disability support and education programme catering mostly for young adults. Run by husband-and-wife team Alice and James, SupPortL Macquarie has been providing individual support, small group support as well as a suite of group programmes that are mostly based on creative arts and self expression.
Alice and James are the ones running this family business, and they also have a team of amazing support workers who provide individual home support through the week, taking individuals out in the community into different programmes.
James is an additional needs teacher from the UK who came over to Australia and found that his qualifications could not transfer. It did not stop him from doing what he felt was a strong pull to work with people with disabilities.
That was how he got into the support game. This meant attending lots of different programmes and working with a variety of participants. It was through his experience and getting into the very midst of it all that he could see where there was a gap in the market. That was how SupPort Macquarie was born.
James started off as an independent support worker, working with people with additional needs in their homes, building up their daily life skills, and helping them to access the community. What makes SupPort Macquarie stand out is how their service is truly personalised. The focus is on whatever the participants need to help them progress in their lives.
James prides himself on catering to all abilities and as such, SupPort Macquarie does not cater to only certain types of people. Everyone is welcome here and the focus is on each individual. You can find young children there as well as young adults. Everyone is here to build up their social skills. SupPort Macquarie provides a safe and nurturing space where they can come together with their friends and build up their skills towards their own individual goals.
Alice is also a teacher who has worked in additional needs. She was a primary school teacher before she went on maternity leave with their second baby. Now she is doing the administration for SupPort Macquarie.
What does SupPort Macquarie do?
SupPort Macquarie's logo is the Combi and it is how they like to see what their participants are doing - they are in the driver's seat! It's an empowering position to be in, where it's all about what each individual participant needs and where they want to get to.
There are group programmes on Wednesdays where participants can do drumming, aptly called To the Beat of Your Own Drum. They incorporate big Swiss balls into the programme so it's as much about music as it is about physical activity. That starts in the mornings followed by awareness drama in the middle of the day where participants are guided into self expression or work through different emotions.
SupPort Macquarie is currently doing workshops at the Sea Scouts Hall, and is a mobile business at the moment. Most of what they do is in the community and in homes. On Wednesdays, they are at the Sea Scouts Hall and on Tuesdays they are with Round and Round at Roto House with their social group which is open to anybody who wants a cuppa and a chat. Alice and James hope that one day SupPort Macquarie can have their very own base to call home.