Sarah Skelton at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week (2-8 September 2019), a 121 Care staff member and a member of the board were more than willing to tell of their life changing past and the work of a local support organisation.

Sarah Skelton is no stranger to the plight of those suffering spinal cord injuries as from the age of ten she has had to deal with life in a wheelchair.

She said, one morning she woke up with a very sore neck and heavy legs, yet undeterred she went for a drive to Caloundra with her family.

“A little way into the trip I lost all feeling and movement from the waist down,” she said.

“I was transported to a Brisbane hospital by helicopter where they discovered I had a tumour at the top of my spinal cord which had ruptured.”

She was told by doctors that she would never be able to walk again.

“My parents remained positive and I did get some feeling and movement over time,” she said.

She missed out on a large part of year-six at primary school, however completed that and eventually high school with the help of friends, teachers and a large support network.

“After that I and got a job in the employment and job network industry and moved into my own rental property,” she said.

However, not truly happy with her life, she yearned for work helping people with disabilities.

After volunteering at 121 Care for three days I was offered a job,” she said.

“Now I am the Liaison Officer of their wonderful Client Services Team whose main aim is to get clients the support services they need.”

121 Care Treasurer Robert Ellis said his life altered dramatically in 1984 on a trip from Amberley Air Base to Biggenden.

“My sister and I were driving up to visit our grandparents when a freak accident sent our car off a dirt road into a creek,” he said.

“She saved my life – My sister did.

She got my head above the water and then went looking for help.”

After nine months in rehab at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Robert took to life in a wheelchair.

“I Went back to study and completed night school for my senior and then tertiary studies in finance,” he said.

“I also played wheelchair rugby for a time until I found I was too old and injury prone.”

In 2014 Robert was harassed by a good friend to take up the treasurer’s role at 121 Care as they need his qualifications and experience.

“I was hesitant at first as I working in a number of roles in different companies,” he said.

“However, my friend was persistent and eventually won me over.”

After looking at what 121 Care did for their clients, Robert decided to become one.

“I was sold on their ethos of giving people the freedom of choice,” he said.

“They gave me control rather than telling me what to do.”

121 Care General Manager Kym Chomley said her organisation took pride in offering individual choices of personal care for people with a disability.

“The clients pick their own carers and set their own rosters,” she said.

“We give them a real choice in how much responsibility and control they want to take for their own care plan.

“This helps them function as independently as possible in their ever-changing environments.”

Sarah Skelton is a Liaison Officer with 121 Care and Robert Ellis is the Treasurer for 121 Care’s management committee (board). Both have partial paraplegia as a result of circumstances that changed their lives.

 

 

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121 Care’s approach gives people real choice of how much responsibility and control they want to take for their own care plan. I first became involved with 121 Care as a Committee member, but soon was so impressed with the model of listening and insistence on client input that I changed from my previous service provider to 121 Care.

Robert, a client since 2014

121 Care
2019-10-25T16:34:32+10:00

Robert, a client since 2014

121 Care’s approach gives people real choice of how much responsibility and control they want to take for their own care plan. I first became involved with 121 Care as a Committee member, but soon was so impressed with the model of listening and insistence on client input that I changed from my previous service provider to 121 Care.
The biggest benefits with 121 Care are choosing my own carers (I have a fantastic team); the flexibility to run my own roster and organise my shifts with my carers has been awesome. The office staff are very respectful and helpful when I need something. I never feel like I’m a number, but a person which matters to me a lot.

Casey, a client since 2013

121 Care
2019-10-25T16:40:12+10:00

Casey, a client since 2013

The biggest benefits with 121 Care are choosing my own carers (I have a fantastic team); the flexibility to run my own roster and organise my shifts with my carers has been awesome. The office staff are very respectful and helpful when I need something. I never feel like I’m a number, but a person which matters to me a lot.
What I’m grateful for most about getting my support through 121 Care is that I can stay in my own home. The staff members also help me to achieve my goals and offer paid training to our carers to become better workers.

Anne, a client since 1997

121 Care
2019-10-25T16:42:14+10:00

Anne, a client since 1997

What I’m grateful for most about getting my support through 121 Care is that I can stay in my own home. The staff members also help me to achieve my goals and offer paid training to our carers to become better workers.
I appreciated that 121 Care gave me control, rather than telling me what to do. The freedom to interview and choose my own workers is what I like most about my care, rather than being allocated workers without any consultation. It was made clear to me from the start that I would run my own care with my own workers.

David, a client since 1999

121 Care
2019-10-25T16:43:06+10:00

David, a client since 1999

I appreciated that 121 Care gave me control, rather than telling me what to do. The freedom to interview and choose my own workers is what I like most about my care, rather than being allocated workers without any consultation. It was made clear to me from the start that I would run my own care with my own workers.
Just to let you know that Fran, Jenny and myself are extremely happy with the support being given to Jenny at this time. Both workers are excellent!!!

David, parent of a client

121 Care
2020-02-28T10:37:45+10:00

David, parent of a client

Just to let you know that Fran, Jenny and myself are extremely happy with the support being given to Jenny at this time. Both workers are excellent!!!

Sarah (Skelton, Liaison Officer), you have gone about making a difference in a person's life.


Sarah assisted a client with obtaining a volunteer dog groomer role which the client is enjoying tremendously.

Jo Priestly, Client Services Manager (retired 2019)

121 Care
2020-02-28T10:44:02+10:00

Jo Priestly, Client Services Manager (retired 2019)

Sarah (Skelton, Liaison Officer), you have gone about making a difference in a person's life. Sarah assisted a client with obtaining a volunteer dog groomer role which the client is enjoying tremendously.

Thanks for the hard work Jeanie (McDonnell, Client Service Manager). I'm sure it will improve service delivery.

SA, Senior Reportable Incidents Office, NDIS Commission

121 Care
2020-02-28T10:47:43+10:00

SA, Senior Reportable Incidents Office, NDIS Commission

Thanks for the hard work Jeanie (McDonnell, Client Service Manager). I'm sure it will improve service delivery.
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121 Care