Supported Accommodation Superstar: Penny’s Story

With a beaming smile and confidence that any Hollywood actress would envy, Penny is a natural in front of the camera.

Today we are filming a television commercial for the NDIS and Penny Davidson is the star of the show.

Penny, aged 26, first became involved with CatholicCare in 2016, when she expressed interest in living out of home.

Penny’s mum Martina, explained how Penny told her that she wanted to experience what it was like to live on her own.

“She would say, I’m an adult, I want to move out of home like everybody else can.”

Like any mum when their child moves out of home, it was very important for Martina that Penny had a safe living environment and received the support and care she needs.

In October 2016, through CatholicCare’s Supported Accommodation program, Penny moved into secure accommodation in a group home, with 24-hour in-house support.

Since moving into her house with three other girls, Penny has built friendships with her housemates and boosted her independence.

“I am friends with the other girls in the house and I like having their company,” Penny said.

The housemates enjoy going on day trips together, including outings to the cinema or going shopping.

Martina has noticed some changes in Penny since her relocation, most significantly, her newly acquired household skills.

“Now that she’s in supported accommodation, I think she’s more independent,” Martina said.

“She’s now cooking and washing, which we tried to get her to do when she was at home with us, but had very limited success.

“There, she feels more like she’s an adult and she’s more responsible doing things herself.”

On the set while filming the commercial, Penny had the chance to show off her cooking skills by helping to bake a chocolate cake.

Penny said she gets a lot of enjoyment out of baking cakes for her new friends, who get more enjoyment out of eating them.

Socialising with her new housemates is a big part of building Penny’s life skills and Martina described just how far she has come.

“When Penny was at home, she felt socially isolated, but now she’s around other girls, which has really helped her.”

Penny, who loves dancing and singing, is part of a dance group, a craft club and enjoys going on outings with New Lake Peer Support.

When asked what she enjoys most about living independently, Penny summed it up with one word, “Everything”.

The program has provided Penny a stepping stone to achieving her goal of independent living, by assisting her in enhancing her life skills in preparation.

Positive Behaviour Support Specialist, Bryn Hoskins, consults with Penny to or three times per week and says the program empowers her to complete day-to-day domestic activities and improve her communication and interpersonal skills.

“Penny is a vibrant, friendly addition to the household. It has been wonderful for all involved to support her growth and development as an adult,” Bryn said.

The advertisement starring Penny and Martina will be aired in the Manning region on television and radio.

To learn more about CatholicCare’s Supported Accommodation program, contact (02) 4979 1120.

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Jackelyn Bassett Image
Jackelyn Bassett

Jackelyn Bassett is Marketing Assistant, CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning