There is hardly a gap in Nick’s schedule and he likes it that way. Monday to Friday he works, swims, takes dance classes, goes horse riding, volunteers at the local SPCA and hangs out with friends. “Every day he’s got an activity on. His days are filled,” says Nick’s mum Sue.
Nick is able to lead such a rich life thanks in part to a form of funding called Enabling Good Lives that he receives through Manawanui. “Nick was already out of school when he went on to Enabling Good Lives. We heard about it and the fact that we get to have all of the funding pooled together made it a really easy choice for us. It’s really been great,” she explains.
“It took him a while to get used to being out of school and in a new environment. Having the funding to work on it in our own time has been great. ” Nick is using the funding to find the best supports for himself. “He’s got carers that come in and take him to his various activities. It works out really well.”
Earlier this year, Nick also spoke about Enabling Good Lives at a conference in Wellington. He addressed people representing the Ministry of Health, Education and Social Development about his experience with Enabling Good Lives.
Nick is non-verbal, but he wrote out his own speech on his computer.” They printed it off and put it up on a screen with what he was saying,” says Sue. “He did really well and told them all about what his activities are and about Enabling Good Lives. People were asking him questions and he was answering and they were just really pleased to hear it from somebody who was actually experiencing it rather than just hearing from the parents or support workers. ”
“It really boosted his self-esteem. He’s got beaming confidence now!”