Building life skills

Building life skills

Solid life skills help people to happily and confidently take control of their own lives.

At Merrimu, we provide opportunities for the people we support to develop essential life skills as part of their journey to independence. Here are some examples from the range of activities we offer that encourage responsibility, resilience and respect.


The cooking program gives the people we support an opportunity to develop food preparation skills and gain confidence in the kitchen. Each person chooses what they want to cook from a recipe book, and writes a shopping list for the ingredients. The following week they cook the dish as they work towards building a repertoire of recipes.

Out and about

The out and about program is a great way for the people we support to connect to the community. As a group, people discuss and decide where they want to go. This may include visits to the local shopping centre, where people increase their money handling skills, social skills and confidence by making purchases with their own money. In addition to building independence for the people we support, the program also helps raise disability awareness in the wider community.


The shopping program gives people the opportunity to learn a range of skills, including problem solving, teamwork and navigating everyday responsibilities. The group is responsible for restocking all Merrimu’s programs for the following week and has a pre-determined shopping list to follow. A group member reads the items from the list while others push the trolley, find the item and take it to the checkout to be purchased. Upon returning to Merrimu, it’s the group’s responsibility to put all the shopping away in the right places, ready for programs.

Healthy Friendships

Healthy Friendships is a course that we run in partnership with Melton City Council. It’s designed to give the people we support the skills to build strong and lasting friendships with others, to teach rights and responsibilities, and that in some situations it’s okay to say no.

Healthy Friendships

‘At Healthy Friendships, we talk about how to respect people. We’ve learnt how to be nice, not to be rude and not to be bossy.’ – Sharlene

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