Donations & Partnerships

Partner with the ConnectAbility Community

ConnectAbility recognises, values and acknowledges our community and corporate partners. Without this assistance we would not be able to offer as many quality outcomes for local people living with a disability.

There are a number of ways organisations and individuals can assist whether through including someone with a disability in your community group or workplace, a volunteer role, workplace giving program, supporting fundraising activities or specific projects. If you are interested in discussing the possibilities to enrich someone’s life and bring a new dimension to your organisation please call (02) 49621000 or email partners@connectabilityaus.org.au

ConnectAbility ensure that as much as possible all funds raised go directly to providing outcomes for individuals or the groups choosing to be supported by our organisation.

Please read through some of the stories from those that have chosen to donate to ConnectAbility and how this has impacted upon individuals and the community. The people, how and what they choose to donate and the partnerships created are all different. What they achieve is huge. They all give local people and their families’ greater confidence, independence, choice and control over their lives and the knowledge that they are a valued member of our community.

We are grateful for their support. Please think about ways you might be able to assist and do not hesitate to contact us either through our website or by calling our office directly.

Richard Downie from the Australian Worker’s Union

The benefits to our participants can be life changing. A recent donation of IPads via Richard Downie from the Australian Worker’s Union has enabled people with little or no verbal skills to be able to communicate and for others to have an opportunity to access technology giving them a new perspective on their world. One gentleman used an IPad to document Newcastle and the things he liked to do in pictures which he then used to create an album to share with family.

Cardiff Toyota supports ConnectAbility to Keep On Travelling

Drive for Disability proudly supported by Cardiff Toyota saw $1.00 from each vehicle brought into Cardiff Toyota for a service over a month donated to ConnectAbility in support of the fleet of vehicles that keeps participants out and about in the community.

Over $3000.00 was raised and this much needed support by a large local organisation was gratefully received.

Cardiff Toyota have recognised the needs of people with a disability across the Hunter and continue to contribute wherever they can to make a difference. Understanding the importance of inclusion for individuals and the needs of the disability sector is a strength for Cardiff Toyota and the team.

Cardiff Toyota has also contributed to the Bright Stars Art Program by donating a trailer to enable more people to participate in a program that is delivering skills and enjoyment to people living in aged care.

Upskilling on a budget

Training is crucial in keeping a staff group that provides quality outcomes for those we support.

Having someone willing to provide expert training within the not for profit budget is a rarity.

Finding Foundation Leadership who have supported our management team through “Leadership and Communication” has given the team new skills and a positive outlook on interactions. It has taught them how to be better leaders and look for opportunities to improve these skills for other workers.

It has helped people understand how to get the best from themselves and others.

ConnectAbility are now working with Foundation Leadership as they develop online training modules that will be accessible to all staff.

DFK Crosbie — Fun and Fundraising

In July DFK Crosbie held a fundraising day in support of ConnectAbility. They organised a staff lunch and fun themed challenges.

Over $1000.00 was raised in just a couple of hours which is now being utilised by ConnectAbility to provide additional materials and resources for individuals and groups within the organisation.

Staff had a great time and it provided DFK with a team bonding activity while supporting a local charity organisation.

It is wonderful to have a corporate group committed to supporting inclusion within their community.

Jims Carpet Cleaning and Local Businesses unite for ConnectAbility

Kerry Houghton of Jims Carpet Cleaning wanted to support ConnectAbility’s participants to be able to achieve their dreams, so he decided to host a Putt Putt Golf fundraising day.

As a member of BNI (Business Network International) he invited other local businesses to join on the day.

Close to 100 people spent the afternoon at the Broadmeadow Putt Putt Centre in support of ConnectAbility.

Funds were raised through people donating towards raffles, a secret auction, sausage sizzle and by playing in a BNI tournament.

ConnectAbility are grateful for the support of local businesses who also help promote the organisation and build awareness of the skills, opportunities and needs of people with a disability in the Hunter.

Kerry also supports ConnectAbility through his business of carpet cleaning. He prioritises our work when he can and ensures a cost effective solution. His understanding of the needs of our participants and his desire to have them achieve their goals makes him a great supporter.

Kent Woodcock Creative Solutions

We are fortunate to have some long standing partners such as Kent Woodcock of Kent Woodcock Creative solutions who provides advice and assistance in our resource and publication area. His expertise enables ConnectAbility to promote and provide information to current and future participants and into the community.

Australia Hotels Association Newcastle and Hunter

We are also proud to be supported by the Australia Hotels Association Newcastle and Hunter who have supported ConnectAbility since 2010 through Dine Out for Disability. This initiative has provided us with modified vehicles to ensure more people have choice and control in their lives around being out and about and included in their communities. They have also assisted in providing a purpose built kitchen to support the learning of life skills. This partnership benefits over 170 individuals and their families on a daily basis. Individual Hotels such as the Junction Tavern and Minmi Hotel have also taken up the challenge to ensure people living with a disability in their communities are included and given the opportunity to fully participate in community life.

Minmi Hotel

Minmi Hotel is a warm and friendly community venue who support their local sporting and recreational clubs and businesses through a variety of activities. They also do something a whole lot more, making a real difference for people with a disability.

Steve is a typical young man who wants to do the same things as his peers such as being out, meeting friends and sharing a meal. Steve just needs a little more assistance to do this as he has a disability and is unable to verbalise his wishes. He uses his own form of gestural signing to engage and communicate with others. Steve also has a level of discomfort about eating in public which takes some encouragement to overcome.

When ConnectAbility Australia began accompanying Steve to Mini Hotel he enjoyed his time there but was frustrated that he couldn’t order his meal like the other patrons. This is where the staff at Minmi really stepped up. Without hesitation the staff commenced learning his key signs and engaging with Steve and his friends so that they would know him better and be able to communicate with him. He has a reserved table so that he is comfortable in his routine and is greeted by other patrons who have also come to know him and enjoy his company. The result is that he is able to go out, meet friends, and like anyone else order his favourites from the bistro – especially the pasta, which he reckons is the best.

Maree, the Manager of Minmi hotel said that “it is a pleasure to see them come in each week. We joke with them and have become really comfortable in including them in our conversations. Steve is pretty cheeky and the other patrons enjoy his company. It is important to us that we are able to make everyone feel included so learning Steve’s signs was not an issue.”

This is a real outcome for Steve and for the community as a whole. Giving a person independence, choice and control over such a basic function in their lives is something most of us take for granted.

Downer EDI Rail

Downer EDI Rail at Cardiff is an excellent example of a community based organisation who value inclusion and want to create opportunities for the people who live in the Hunter.

As a major heavy industry, Downer has minimal opportunities to employ and engage with people with a disability on site, but that didn't stop them from looking at other ways to support their community. They thought laterally and Downer has been able to assist through promoting ConnectAbility via their staff and networks such as during ConnectAbility’s Dine Out for Disability fundraising events or Downer staff open days.

This type of support is important to ConnectAbility as it gives long term outcomes and assists in breaking down social barriers towards, and for people with a disability.

There are also opportunities to exchange skills and expertise and provide diverse learning opportunities for both organisations. This included Downer looking at WH&S issues for people with disabilities and ConnectAbility looking at how people with a disability could be incorporated into heavy industry.

Markey Insurance Brokers

In 2011 we were fortunate to be chosen by Markey Insurance Brokers to be the recipients of their annual charity golf day. Over 120 golfers came together on the day to support us. All costs were covered by Markey and we were overwhelmed to receive a cheque for $32,792.93.

Golfers on the day also faced some unique challenges including teeing off from a wheelchair and taking part in name the famous person trivia quiz which highlighted the achievements of people with disabilities throughout history.

Again the day provided us with an opportunity to raise the profile of people with a disability in the community.

Our heartfelt thanks to Steven and Simmone Markey, Trevor and Annette Markey and all the staff at Markey Insurance for all their hard work that made the day such a success. We would also like to thank all those that donated prizes for the day as well as the players who came along to support us.

Two very special golfers also stunned us by offering to donate 10 Ipads to ConnectAbility and we would like to thank Richard Downie from the Australian Worker’s Union for organising this incredible donation for us.

Our team of Natahan Bellerby, Chris Gowie, Scott Harvey and Karen Stace had a fabulous day and didn’t disgrace ourselves too badly.