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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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Jordan at the Hub

Jordan completed his Year 12 VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) before starting at Merrimu.

Since coming to Merrimu he has completed a number of programs from an Intermediate Certificate in computers to a Certificate in food handling and cooking.

Jordan has embraced each new opportunity and has developed friendships as he worked with others on team-building exercises in the Healthy Relationships course run by Merrimu.  This course involves participants learning about respecting others, developing friendships and how to work well with others and be part of a group

Jordan attends Merrimu’s Hub in McKenzie St Melton and says “I like working on my cooking and money handling skills”. The Hubs provide more choice and fresh options for school leavers and people looking to access alternatives with a focus on vocational and education programs and building life skills.

A big highlight for Jordan is studying to get his learner’s permit. He is currently studying road rules and what the responsibilities of a driver are so that he can sit for his learner’s permit test. Jordan has completed an intermediate computer course and he is very proud that he finished the course.
Jordan says he enjoyed learning cooking and how to handle and store food properly and is very proud that he has achieved his food-handling certificate.

“I enjoy Merrimu and think I have done well and worked hard.” Jordan would like to get a job next and live a happy life.

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