Aster Group

Disability Trust Green Abilities.

Wests Illawarra provided $8,500 to ensure Green Abilities could start in 2015.

Green Abilities is an Illawarra Vocational Services (an Australian Disability Enterprise) program supported by The Disability Trust. IVS offers a range of services including lawn maintenance, gardening and landscaping to businesses in the Illawarra while providing people with a disability paid employment opportunities.

The program also has a strong focus on sustainable practices in horticulture. It has established a small demonstration garden for training in horticulture and sustainability for people with a disability, particularly those living in-group homes. They are able to receive training and advice on implementing recycling, composting and healthy eating in the group homes.

Green Abilities has 45 participants in weekly training workshops who are learning new skills and benefitting from the social interaction. Further contributing to social inclusion and wellbeing, the program is now working with Fitness 4 All to integrate a holistic healthy life. After completing fitness sessions the students are encouraged to visit the garden areas and make healthier options to pick some lettuce and tomatoes to make a sandwich rather than grabbing a bag of chips. This not only promotes healthier eating but also further teaches important life skills.

Disability Trust Executive Manager, Organisational Development Matthew Martin said: “Again we have Wests Illawarra to thank for assisting us with this program. The club’s contribution has been used to establish a Training Garden at our centre-based day program to provide quality training and education in sustainable practices to our services users with a disability. This will promote life skills and healthy eating lifestyles.”

Photo Credit: NEG Photography

Grand Opening of the Willow Garden Program

Grand Opening of the Willow Garden Program