Creativity flourishes at NeenaMarch 28, 2023
Anglicare’s Acquired Injury Support Services team supports Tasmanians to be creative and independent.
A long-term resident at Neena in Kings Meadows, Verdun (pictured above) sustained a significant brain injury in 1997 when he was hit by a motor vehicle while riding his bike. He was 10 years old at the time.
The Neena team say it’s very rare to see Verdun at home during the day. He has a very full social calendar and spends most days out in the community. When he is at home, a favourite spot is the veggie patch, where he checks on the progress of his tomatoes and picks the best ones for his mother.
One of the activities closest to Verdun’s heart is art. Every week for the last three years or so he has attended art classes at a local community organisation called Interweave Arts. A unicorn and a bunyip sculpted from paper mache take pride of place on display in his home.
“Verdun is into painting and printing and all different things, he’ll have a go at anything,” says Disability Support Worker Georgie Booker. “His favourite thing is to make sculptures. He has full creative control: it’s really good to watch him do it.”
Interweave also puts on theatre, musical performances and festivals. “Verdun loves Elvis, so for the last few years he’s dressed up and made his costumes himself. He enjoys nothing more than going to the festival itself and showing off his work,” said Georgie.
When some filming took place at Neena recently, Verdun was at first an interested observer. He quickly moved in front of the camera, generously sharing his artwork and gardening skills.
The concept of active support is at the centre of Anglicare’s service.
“We do things with people, not for them,” explained Georgie.
“Watching the smile and the pride after someone has achieved something is really good to see. It’s very rewarding to be part of – I love it.”
Verdun talks about what makes his “heart happy” in the MAIB’s Annual Report (scroll through to page 9).
Anglicare’s Acquired Injury Support Services operates residences in Kings Meadows (Neena), Montrose (Caylea) and Ulverstone (Lomandra). Team members also support people with daily living activities in their own homes.