Learning helps people unlock their potential and have more choice about their futures.
Merrimu’s hubs in Ballarat, Melton, and Bacchus Marsh provide more choice to adults with a disability and their support people who are looking to access alternative programs and activities during the day.
Located within the community, the hubs are utilised as a place to enable people to connect to vocational, employment, learning and community opportunities.
FDR and Delve
The DELVE program, Disability Education Learning Vocation Empowerment, provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills. DELVE helps people make successful transitions to a productive and involved life this program can be accessed by people with varied skills and backgrounds seeking new opportunities and employment pathways.
FDR, Front Door Recycling, is a business model enabling a person to be actively involved in a business whose sole mission is to give back to community by recycling clothing and textiles. FDR actively participates with community organizations and business partners to enable a collective approach to recycling clothing and textiles.
Together with DELVE, FDR will facilitate and promote opportunities for participants to practice their DELVE learnt program based skills on a progressive basis. Each of DELVE’s functional skills and specific activity and task based skills programs form part of FDR’s business model of operations, allowing participants to be fully immersed in practicing their learnt skills on a daily basis.
Unibees is a group that focuses on developing literacy and numeracy skills. Learning these skills helps the people we support increase their independence and get closer to reaching their goals for employment.
You Want You Should
You Want You Should is a gift shop in Bacchus Marsh where the people we support can learn retail skills within the wider community. Everyone has a go at taking on a range of tasks, including serving, unpacking stock, pricing and data entry. Participating at You Want You Should gives the people we support valuable work experience and helps them to be engaged members of the community.
Melton op shop
The op shop in Melton is often staffed by the people we support, which creates a strong sense of ownership. This initiative helps boost confidence, increase responsibility, and build cash-handling and other vocational skills.
A key objective at Merrimu is to help find work experience for interested people. One of the people that we support, Daniel, has been working at Game Traders in Bacchus Marsh for about 18 months. Another, Matthew, works at Bacchus Marsh Farm Supplies, where his responsibilities include helping with the stock, assisting customers and completing odd jobs.
In partnership with Melton City Council, the Creative Gardens program offers the people we support the chance to participate in a modified Certificate II in Horticulture. Last year, the group created a garden in the Melton community. As part of the ongoing program, the group is next learning how to identify and propagate plants.
‘Working at Game Traders has really helped a lot. I’m more confident and I learn about customer skills. I walk to and from work by myself, so I’m more independent.’