Carers just want to have fun!
2.7 million Australians live every day in some form of caring role, according to the Australian Department of Social Services. That is, 1 in 8 Australians who may benefit from support, and occasional reprieve, from this highly rewarding yet demanding and often socially isolating role.
Spectrum’s team note that while in their caring role, it is vital that carers look after their own physical, mental and emotional health. This presents the perfect reason to have some much-deserved fun by getting out and about with people who share this caring experience. The next highly anticipated trip on the Spectrum’s Support for Carers Program (SCP) Excursion Calendar gave carers the opportunity to do exactly that!
Thursday 11th April was a gorgeous autumn day, when 34 clients, accompanied by five Spectrum staff members, gathered at the Dallas Head Office to board the trusty Spectrum coach, and headed to the Ballarat Wildlife Park. Upon arrival, after an enjoyable morning tea, it was off to explore with maps in hand. For many it was a first; getting up close and personal with some of Australia’s most famous native animals including over 100 kangaroos who casually roamed and weaved their way amongst the crowd, delivering a quintessentially Australian experience! They also had the opportunity to channel their inner child by hand feeding and interacting with resident reptiles and birds.
A full morning of exploring inevitably led to rumbling tummies and the participants enjoyed a lunch of either fish and chips or chicken parmigiana at the bistro by the racecourse. Lunch was followed by a scenic drive around the famous Lake Wendouree, a must-see for visitors to Ballarat. The lake was the perfect spot for watching the hordes of seagulls and ducks paddling around in their natural habitat with the afternoon sun glistening on the water in the background.
The day was long but a very enjoyable one, evident in the happy chatter and laughter on the way on home. After such fun-filled adventuring, there was much to discuss and many stories to be shared amongst the group. The fun filled day was a timely reminder of the benefits to carers of looking after themselves, and occasionally stepping out of the routine of everyday life, and connecting to the world and community around them.