The term Social Isolation has taken on new meaning in recent months and everybody now understands what social isolation is.  I personally am struggling a little with ‘social isolation’ even though I am capable of picking up the phone and talking to friends and family.  I can organise a video conference if I want. I have Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to stay in touch with the World.  What I miss is talking and laughing with people and brain-storming ideas.  I miss the energy of a busy office environment.

What if I couldn’t do these simple things that we take for granted.  What if my only means of socialising was meeting physically with my friends and family?  It would be so much more difficult.

People living with an intellectual disability have been at risk of social isolation – even before all the Covid-19 restrictions.  Many don’t know how to use a smart phone, they don’t have a Facebook or Instagram account.  In fact, many people living with a disability live with elderly parents/family who aren’t comfortable using all the social media apps either.

People living with a disability (PWD) enjoy interacting with their peers and being part of their “tribe”.  No different to the majority of the population – we want to feel part of our “tribe”. 

All of a sudden, there are no outings into the community, no seeing the friends they look forward to seeing every day.  No sharing a cup of coffee with their mates, no joking with their support workers, no volunteering.  All the things they enjoy and the routines they have developed are disappearing or at least changing.  In some cases, they may not even fully comprehend why. 

Self-isolating myself has made me look differently at how we can ensure PWD are not socially isolated when we come out the other side of this crisis. 

What I am 100% confident of is that creating homes for PWD is the right thing to do for our community.  That is exactly what the Carinbundi Foundation is going to do and that is what I will be driving going forward. 

Once we have our two houses built they will become homes where people are sharing with members of their “tribe”, where they will be supported to grow and develop.  They will be encouraged to laugh and learn by their awesome support workers.  They will laugh and cry through life’s roller-coaster ride and they will support their tribe through ups and downs.  They will enjoy the simple things like a BBQ at the beach, making coffee for a friend or a family member, going for a week-end away, enjoying a movie with their mates, simply hugging their mates, walking the dog, going 10 pin bowling, volunteering at Meals on Wheels.  Most of all, they can open the front door of their house and say “Welcome to my home.”

People can be part of this vision so “Welcome to my home” becomes a reality for every person living with a disability by donating to the Carinbundi Foundation via the link on our website.

We can achieve this, one brick at a time!