“Coming together, to support one another” is Accessible Care & Lifestyle Services’ (ACALS) slogan - and the provider’s hugely popular Upcycle Recycle program is a sure demonstration of that.
ACALS’ Upcycle Recycle program allows participants to refurbish old furniture and everyone involved loves it.
However, giving life to old furniture is only a small part of the program - building participants’ capacity and ability to learn how to use new tools and explore their creativity is also an important focus.
ACALS public relations and networking officer Natalia Vilches tells us the program isn’t just about the products and education - Upcycle Recycle participants also get to socialise around the lunch table, communicate and engage while enjoying a hot meal.
She said participants enjoying and holding conversations with fellow participants while the staff take a step back is an important function of these mealtimes.
“It’s just so we can be sure participants are owning the space,” Natalia said.
“Then they feel they are spending the day with their friends.”
The Upcycle Recycle program and the special lunches are important to participant Shane Carter.
He looks forward to their weekly get-togethers and enjoys the program and socialisation.
“You get to choose the activity you want to do,” he said.
“I enjoy the hands-on side of things. I’ve never been very handy. I’ve never done any wood work before."
“But these people (ACALS staff) see if you have an interest in something and they help you with it.”
Shane loves the staff too.
“They are very approachable - nothing is too much of a drama with them,” he said.
“They genuinely take an interest in you and genuinely put you on the right track.”