It was while working at the Windara nursery, five kilometres outside of Casino in the Northern Rivers of NSW, that romance blossomed for Peter and Gloria. Some did not like the idea of two people with disabilities being together, but that did not deter Peter and Gloria who fell in love very quickly.
Peter recalls the pair’s wedding day in August 2000 with fond memories. “It was a big wedding. All of our friends were there. I remember being happy in the church waiting for Gloria to come. She looked beautiful,” he says.
“I picked out materials for someone to make my wedding dress – a plain pink skirt and a pink top with roses. I still have it in the wardrobe,” remembers Gloria.
Now married for nearly twenty years, the pair receive drop-in support on a regular basis from Achieve to help with day-to-day living in their Casino home. “We have a worker come every day of the week. They help me to get ready for the day, make sure we have taken our medications and take me to my appointments,” explains Gloria.
The services also help build the couple’s independent living skills. “I know how to cook better now and I can cook a roast chicken dinner. I still need some help with things. I worry if I don’t have help, I might burn it,” she says. In her spare time, Gloria likes to travel to visit new places with Peter, her friends and support workers, and go to the beach for fish and chips.
Peter says that gardening is one of his passions. “I have a veggie patch that I look after,” he says. “I sell my tomatoes for $2 a bag. They are really good tomatoes. I like to keep my gardens looking good.”
Not only does drop-in support provide people with disability the opportunity to follow their passions, but with the right support individuals can live as independently as possible or transition to more independent living arrangements. The services also provide support for people who live on their own, with family or in other shared living environments.
For Peter and Gloria, drop-in support gives them the freedom to continue sharing a full life together while maintaining independent living in their own home. This is wonderful to see. To find out more or to connect with Achieve’s drop-in support team, contact us on 1300 22 44 38 or arrange a meeting to discuss your specific needs at https://www.achieveaustralia.org.au/. Better yet, why not come and see us at the free My Future, My Choice Sydney Seniors and Disability Expo on Friday or Saturday, September 13 and 14, Exhibition Hall 4, Sydney Showground. Register here.