Wednesdays are the best days in Tom’s household – it means it’s Mentoring day!
Every Tuesday night, Minda Community Supports client Tom, 34, eagerly prepares his special bag and clothes ready for when his mentor Cameron picks him up the following morning.
“Tom is keen as soon as he wakes up, and it’s all because Cameron has really built a great rapport with Tom,” his mother Sharon said.
“They visit Belair National Park for a walk to try and spot local wildlife, they go to the beach to soak up the sun and take in the views, they’ll go to Oaklands Wetlands and feed the ducks, or every now and then they get a special treat from McDonald’s or Hungry Jacks.”
Minda’s mentoring program matches clients like Tom with mentors who share similar interests.
Mentors assist clients 1:1 to learn a new skill, try new hobbies, see the latest blockbuster or have lunch at the pub, kick a footy, attend an art class or an array of other activities of their that help them to achieve their goals.
And that’s exactly what Tom is doing.
His father Neville is proud that his son is being encouraged to try new things when he’s out with Cameron, especially in the garden.
“At Minda there are above ground garden plots where Cameron does the gardening with Tom, which is just remarkable because Tom doesn’t like gardening!
“Due to their connection, Cameron managed to convince him to do some planting and look after them by watering...he really gets Tom to expand and learn new skills such as working collaboratively on a project, learning to work with tools as well as taking responsibility to keep plants alive.”
While Tom has been part of the Community Supports program for about three years, he has only had Cameron as a mentor for the past nine months and his parents couldn’t be happier with the care and friendship their son is getting.
“They encourage him to do things, like ‘C’mon Tom try this.’ He never liked to walk much but now that he goes out with Cameron, he walks that little further,” Sharon said.
Additional to his Wednesdays out and about with Cameron, Tom also attends the ICT room during the other days of the week as part of Minda’s MyPath program. Tom is developing his ability to research the web and YouTube as well as expand his spelling ability.
If you or someone you know are interested in Minda’s mentoring program or would like to join MyPath, contact us on 1800 164 632 or complete the contact form below.