As a part of our ‘Engage’ Fundraising Program, Supported Employees at our Allambie Heights Employment Services share their workspace environment with volunteers to build understanding, showcase skills and break down social barriers. This program aligned with St Ignatius College Riverview’s service program, where they aim to form young men of consciousness, competence, commitment and compassion by asking them to participate in experiences with people in society that might face different challenges to their own. Our ‘Engage’ Fundraising Program was the perfect opportunity for some year ten students to volunteer to give and not count the cost.
After an orientation and tour of our Allambie Heights Employment Services site, the young men and teachers from St Ignatius worked alongside Sunnyfield Supported Employees on the day’s jobs. From packing and building stock to navigating the environment, they were able to experience a day in the life of a Sunnyfield Supported Employee whilst learning more about disability and the sector. Lunchtime was a highlight, as there was more time for the young men and Supported Employees to socialise and build friendships. The Supported Employees were delighted to have the company.
The year 10 students and teachers spent 4 days at Sunnyfield, and overall, it was a great success, a unique and fantastic way to create an impactful team-building experience. With a bittersweet farewell, the Supported Employees wished their new friends from Saint Ignatius College goodbye, only to be surprised with a delivery of letters in the following weeks.
The young men from St Ignatius College had written very kind, caring letters of gratitude for the Supported Employees.
“Although we were uncomfortable at first, I was forced to step outside my comfort zone in order to make interactions and friendships with your employees. Because of this, I learnt how to interact with people with a disability, making me more patient and encouraging to others.”
“I am forever grateful for this, it has shown me that having a disability doesn’t hold you back in life, and you can still choose your own path in the game that is life”
“This experience has taught me how to see the world in a different way as well as how to better communicate with someone with a disability”
“It was a joy for me to work and talk with the kind workers at Sunnyfield”
“It has touched me when I saw how happy everyone was to see us come in every morning. I am still thankful for the friendships I made with Michelle and Wayne”
“The people at Sunnyfield are extremely hard working and contribute massively to today’s society”
The Supported Employees smiles filled the room with joy and happiness while reading those letters.
We are very thankful for the thoughtful, compassionate young men and teachers of St Ignatius College Riverview and their time spent engaging with the Supported Employees at Allambie Heights. To give your time and not count the cost created such a positive impact on our Sunnyfield Community, we hope you come back to visit soon.