Our Victorian customers hit up the local ice rink and discover a new way to chill.
For Joey and Perry from The Boulevard, Thomastown SIL, ice-skating was a dream that seemed as far-away as the polar bears in Alaska. However, Support Worker and keen ice skater, Neil Thrower, thought outside the box to make it happen.
With massive smiles and pink noses from the chilly air, our customers glided onto the ice from the comfort and safety of a standard wheelchair.
“Getting the guys out on the ice has been wonderful. It was a great sensory experience, and they got to be right in the centre of the action with figure skaters and the general public skating around them,” said Neil.
With Neil skating behind them and guiding them by holding onto the wheelchair, Joey and Perry got to experience the thrill of ice-skating without worrying about any of the usual fears – particularly blades and balancing.
“Once the guys were on the ice, they started developing a bit of a posse. Other skaters, particularly young children were asking a lot of genuine questions. It was great for our customers to feel included in the community,” continued Neil.
The staff at IceHQ in Reservoir, have been more than helpful in accommodating our customers. They have wheelchair ramps, provide reduced entry fees (with free skating for support workers assisting a customer) and they turn off the flashing disco lights for the sessions.
Neil’s long-term goal for the all abilities ice-skating program, is to have a group of customers enjoy their time on the ice followed by a social catch up over hot chocolates and snacks at the café.
Neil, Joey and Perry look forward to welcoming more customers to the skate group soon. ‘ice work team. Keep it up!
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