A Support Worker on the Mid-North Coast has been supporting people with disability build pathways to independence by providing opportunities at her family farm.
Carla, an Ability Options Support Worker, owns and manages Privada Farm together with her husband Duncan. She regularly runs farm programs for NDIS participants where they get to interact with animals and participate in farm activities.
Having grown up riding horses, Carla uses her knowledge of animals and passion for helping people to provide Animal-Assisted Therapy and capacity building experiences for people who visit her property.
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that uses animals to help a person manage and overcome challenges. Carla says Privada Farm’s programs do just that, providing therapeutic outcomes for participants in a fun, safe environment, while catering to their needs and interests.
“Being outdoors is good for our health. Spending time with animals makes it even better. Our hands-on programs are unique and aim to empower people to realise their potential and get involved in the community,” Carla said.
Each program is jam-packed with a variety of activities designed to support people with disability reach their goals. Visitors work in groups on projects that focus on maintaining different parts of the farm, including gardening, and looking after the animals.
Through these experiences, participants learn important life skills, such as teamwork and communication skills while enjoying nature.
But there is more to life than just farming. After finishing all the jobs for the day, the groups socialise and explore the koala habitats near the property.
Carla is glad her farm is making a difference to people’s lives. She says the participants have had many exciting experiences lately and recalls one time when one group roasted marshmallows after a busy day.
“One of our farm groups had a big bonfire in the paddock and cooked marshmallows around the fire,” Carla said.