Category: Stories


“Merrimu helps me at home two afternoons a week. I like the staff’s sense of humour! On Tuesdays we do lots of things together; we tidy up my unit, change my bed linen, remake my bed and do my weekly shopping list. We are always busy. When we work together we chat and laugh.
On Thursdays we go shopping at IGA in Ballarat, on our way to my unit. I have a pretty strict budget to stick to that the staff help me with. On the way, we call in to the chemist. They know me well at the chemist. I go in on my own and collect my weekly pack.
When we get to the unit we unpack all the shopping together. We enjoy cooking delicious, healthy meals together for the week ahead. The staff encourage me to make different things and I feel I am learning a lot. We pack meals into containers that I put in the freezer so I have healthy dinners all week to choose from. When I need to go to the doctor or other appointments, staff help me do this too.
I feel good about all the help I get from Merrimu, I feel my life is a lot better since
starting here at Merrimu already!”

What is important to you today? Merrimu’s twenty-four seven Enhancing Independence service supports you to build skills, confidence and independence. Our staff will assist you wherever you need to be – whether it’s to keep medical appointments or learn how to cook.
Contact us to find out more.

Peter works at Christabelles, Merrimu’s gift and homewares shop in Bacchus Marsh and at the Hub in Melton.The hubs are located within the community and are used as a place to assist people in connecting to vocational, employment, learning and community opportunities.One of Peter’s goals is to secure a job and he has been busy learning new skills to help him get work ready. He has also been working with the Unibees program to help improve his reading and his maths skills.

“I like learning at the hub as I do lots of different things and have learned how to be more independent,” he says.

Peter works really hard at Christabelles.  He likes working in the shop and enjoys serving customers, stocktaking, handling money and gift wrapping. He says he feels more confident from working there.

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Jemmerson (Jem) in woodwork cropped FEb 18th 2016
Jem enjoys coming to Merrimu because he learns how to make things.

Jem is in his mid 20s and before coming to Merrimu attended a Men’s Shed. “I didn’t really like it as I didn’t get to do as much as I do now,” he says.

“My favourite thing to do at Merrimu is woodwork. I find handyman work easy and enjoy hammering at woodwork,” he says.

Improving his handwriting is another challenge that Jem is working hard at as he says he finds it difficult and needs help.
Jem enjoys being out in the community and likes to go for walks or out for drives and looking for drink bottles and sunglasses as he collects them. more

Brooke in cooking website 11 Feb 2016

Brooke likes coming to Merrimu to see the friendly staff and to catch up with her friends. She goes to the McKenzie St Hub and also to the Bacchus Marsh Centre.

Brooke has big goals, she wants to live on her own and get a job. Brooke is very proud that in the past twelve months she has achieved so many milestones towards these goals.

Brooke is learning how to cook healthy meals at the Melton Hub. She enjoys cooking and enjoys the challenge of learning all the steps involved from budgeting and shopping to storing food safely.

Brooke says she finds maths easy and she likes learning about money. In the future Brooke wants to go to Christabelles and get work experience. She’s been learning about money and serving customers and would really like to work on these skills at Christabelles soon.

Brooke has also enjoyed making new friends “I like to go to Woodgrove and go for walks around the track with my friends” she says.

Brooke has been attending Merrimu since January last year and says she enjoys coming to the Hub where “the staff are really nice and they help me achieve my goals.”

This story is from our 2015 Annual Report. You can read more on our Publications page.


Marcus says that before Merrimu he pretty much did nothing.

“I was having a go, trying to deal with my anxiety and trying to get better. I did the usual day-to-day stuff like cleaning the house,” he says.
Marcus says that working with his support worker Peter has helped him feel more confident to try new things without feeling anxious. Before he started at Merrimu one of Marcus’ goals was to travel outside of his hometown Ballan.

Since he’s been supported by Enhancing Independence, Merrimu’s 24/7 personal care, Marcus has been out a lot visiting other towns.
“I’ve been here there and everywhere pretty much. At first I found it hard but then it started to pay off slowly.”
Marcus was very happy when he was able to go to Ballarat without feeling anxious. In the past Ballarat was a place that held some painful memories.

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Chelsea at Christabelles for Annual report 28 Jan 2016
Chelsea says she enjoys coming to Merrimu because it helps her.She enjoys cooking and going for walks from the Hub in Melton to learn where things are and how to be safe in the community.
Building Life Skills is about supporting people to gain confidence and take control of their own lives. Examples of activities in the program include cooking and healthy eating, setting budgets, shopping, travelling independently and the ‘Healthy Friendships’ course.
Chelsea is focusing on building life skills through her cooking and community access programs at the Hub and socialising and customer service at Christabelles.Chelsea likes working at Christabelles the most because it’s fun.
“I help the customers, do the cash register and the card thing,” she says.

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