Our stories

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Getting around - Carey’s Story

15 Sep 2017

For regional areas, lack of transport options can be very isolating and for Carey, it meant he was spending most of his time at home. 

When Carey and an Ability Links’ ‘Linker’ first met up to discuss his goals and aspirations, Carey talked about his difficulty in getting around town. 

Carey told his Linker that he either had to walk or catch a taxi, as there was no public transport available and that because of the cost of taxis, he wasn’t able to access his local community as often as he would like, especially if it was raining. 

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Mary's Panchant for Poetry

15 Sep 2017

Ever since Mary was young she has loved writing poetry. Over the years, this love has extended to a desire to share her poetry with others, however, opportunities for poetry events were few and far between in her town.

When Mary discussed her passion with a local linker, they decided to work together with the local library where Mary volunteers to plan an event where she could perform her poetry.

The Linker introduced Mary to the coordinator of the local arts council who was also a poet and could guide Mary in putting on the event. Mary invited other local and visiting poets to participate in the event and together worked to plan and promote the poetry event.

Finding your feel

11 Sep 2017

Sarah lives in a small community and lives with severe depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. She also has a speech impediment, which makes it difficult for her to communicate with those around her. Often people mistakenly think she has an intellectual disability.

Sometimes Sarah would seriously harm herself and she had a difficult relationship with hospital emergency staff and local doctors. Her behaviour meant that many services were reluctant to work with her and in a small country town, this can mean there are few options to get the help you need. Sarah was also not managing her medication well and would lock herself away.

 Ability Links connected Sara with services and other supports and helped her identify her goals and worked with her to achieve them. Sara wanted to improve her wellbeing, learn some new skills to help her mother at home and find some part-time work.

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Championing Inclusion

7 Sep 2017

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW’s Ability Links has launched its new Inclusion Champion project to support businesses to diversify their customer base.

The Inclusion Champion project has been piloted in 10 central Sydney cafes with the goal of improving mainstream awareness and understanding of customers with disability.

This project involves a person with lived experience of disability having an honest, round-table conversation with café owners and staff about what makes a great customer experience for them.

“After chatting with an Inclusion Champion, I have made it my challenge to make my café as welcoming and accessible as possible. Not only for people with disability, but for everyone in the community,” said Kumiko, owner of Refn Café in Redfern.

Read more about the project in the South Sydney Herald


Back to Tafe - Linda's Story

4 Sep 2017

Linda experiences anxiety and depression that leaves her unable to leave the bedroom and makes it difficult for her to attend school. 
Although Linda is well supported by her family, she was unsure what the next step was for her future.
On her first meeting with Ability Links, Linda and her Linker discussed local services that Linda could be linked in with like the Careers Network and options for completing her HSC at TAFE. 
Previously, Linda had been assessed by TAFE and told that she did not meet the requirements to attend. Linda’s Linker was able to facilitate a meeting with TAFE and get them to agree to have her enrol.

Supporting Luke Get Back On Top

28 Aug 2017

When Luke picked up an Ability Links flyer at a local op shop, he was at crisis point and didn’t know where to turn. 

Luke had been experiencing mental illness and substance abuse for most of his life and said he was on the verge of relapsing and wanted to attempt suicide due to his current situation. 

Financial problems, unstable housing, isolation, relationship breakdowns and depression had placed Luke at breaking point. 

Ability Links supported Luke to take control of his life, make some positive changes and start planning for his future.

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Port Stephens Council and Ability Links NSW roll out Event Tents

23 Aug 2017

There’s no need to avoid big, loud community events anymore when people can seek a little solace when it all gets too much.

That’s the thinking behind the Ability Links NSW Event Tent now under trial in Port Stephens.

Port Stephens Council is one of the early adopters of the Event Tent. They serve as a kind of one-stop-shop for people to access what they need.

Read the full article in the Port Stephens Examiner.

Mental Health Olympics

23 Aug 2017

A Mental Health Olympics held for students at Callaghan College, Wallsend Campus could be used as a pilot program for schools throughout the Hunter region.

The day-long event was born from one Newcastle student’s desire to raise awareness of the seriousness of mental health for other kids.

They were also given the opportunity to talk with mental health professionals from headspace Newcastle, Ability Links and The Samaritans Foundation throughout the day.

Hunter youth and community engagement arts organisation UP&UP helped students create a mural focusing on diversity and positivity.

Read the full article in the Newcastle Star.

Making Music

12 Aug 2017


After being discharged from a mental health facility, Terry's social worker suggested he work with St Vincent de Paul Society's Ability Links. 

After discussions with his Linker about his dreams and goals, Terry returned to following his passion for music. He's enjoyed success with live performances, and studio recordings. 

Terry says he is feeling much happier now, and much more confident. 

Click here to read Terry's full story

Building a Business - Pepey's story

5 Aug 2017


Pepey’s goal was to start his own small business.

Not only that, but Pepey would like his lawn-mowing and maintenance business to support those who are living with a disability – by becoming an NDIS provider himself. 

Pepey said he “wants to start a business that is honest, loyal and supports people who also have a disability”. 


Read Pepey's full story here


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