ANNUAL REPORT 2014-15
Maria is not a shy person anymore.
She achieves, she is determined and
she is confident.
“I can have a little bit of a bossy side and a very funny side;
I’m witty and I wasn’t like that when I first came here."
"I have become more independent. I have learned to socialise more. I’ve come more out of my shell,” she says.
Maria will soon turn 41. She has an intellectual impairment but that hasn’t deterred her from living her life. She attended YFS back in 1999, looking for something to do at home and wanting to improve her social skills.
“I came to see what they had to offer down here… I probably wasn’t expecting to really get much out of it. I just thought it was like those other places where they only give you a little bit of help. It’s been quite good."
"I was a bit scared. I thought I wasn’t going to make many friends. Now I’ve got friends here at YFS. We spend a lot of time together. It’s very helpful to have someone to talk to. I feel less isolated.”
Maria has achieved things in the past like saving for a new washing machine, a bed, a car and a nice flower and vegetable garden. But she also admits her biggest achievement has been finding her father who she hadn’t seen for eight years and her half-sister with whom she keeps regular contact ever since.
“With YFS’ help I went to the police station, visited old addresses and contacted nursing homes until I found out that my father had passed on. It does make me sad, but I’ve learnt to cope and try to move on. It brought closure for me.”
Maria now likes to keep herself busy and loves doing arty things and scrapbooking. She smiles when she talks about it.
“I’m making up a nice heirloom album with photos of all the family members. I’m trying to remember all the good stuff so my children can have it one day.”
She’s also on the quest to lose more weight.
“I’ve had health concerns mainly around my weight. I’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time and now I even teach my friends at YFS how to do it.”
She has come to a turning point in what had been very difficult for her in years; she has grown in confidence and has also started to plan a future for herself and her partner.
“Coming to YFS makes me really happy. I love it here. It’s helped me in a lot of ways, like with my budgeting because money used to be a real problem. It’s helped me to achieve stuff in life.”
“YFS is a good place to come to.
You have lots of different services,
not only Community Connections.
If they need help with housing or counselling or whatever may be.
It is really, really good help and I've never had any problems with YFS.”
“Your help has changed me in a lot of ways. YFS even helped me with my kids when they were younger, with housing, they’ve helped me with budgeting, because before, I never knew how to do budgeting and money used to be a real problem.
I’m managing my money a lot better now. It’s helped me in a lot of ways. I’ve learned not to buy so much junk, like stuff I don’t need.”
“I’ve achieved in producing a nice lovely garden and keep on working on it; getting my house a bit tidier, learning to get rid of clutter; saving money and buying myself a better washing machine. And the thing that
I want to achieve for the future is
buy nicer stuff. Have less clutter and just be healthier.”
YFS is funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.
YFS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are Australia's First Peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet and work.