Helen is a single parent with three children under 11, including a baby. Recently Helen’s baby was diagnosed with a disability.
“It is annoying because I want her to get up and start moving and playing with her older siblings,” says Helen, who travels from Albany to Perth to get medical treatment for her baby.
Helen is determined to raise her children to be strong, but admits looking after them on her own can be difficult. “My oldest daughter is full on all the time, and she and her brother like to push my boundaries,” she adds.
Helen also has an intellectual disability and finds that learning and filling out forms can be challenging. But she is very independent and draws strength from her wonderful mother.
After experiencing violence from her former partner Helen courageously took the step to break away, including standing up in court to take out an AVO.
“Helen is very transparent and is a great communicator,” says Chorus Support Worker Mandy, who has supported Helen with getting to appointments like Centrelink.
Mandy relates to the challenges of being a single parent and draws on her experience to support Helen. “When I was at home as a mum all day and doing domestic things I yearned for adult company,” says Mandy.
Previously Helen has found it difficult to connect with a playgroup, but with Mandy’s support Helen is hoping to give it another go. “If we find one, I could go with Helen,” says Mandy.
Helen has lots of ideas for other places she’d like to try. At Chorus it’s about linking customers with services until they are confident enough to go on their own. Or if the person doesn’t like that service, their Support Worker can help them find something else.
“Some customers with schizophrenia go to art classes, for example,” says Mandy.
Meanwhile Helen and Mandy enjoy hanging out and having a chat over a puzzle. Helen has a great sense of humour and likes to have fun. “Half the time I’m running around collecting things, doing paperwork and making appointments and in my downtime I like to sit back with a beer and watch TV shows,” she laughs. Helen loves the show Outlander and even named one of her children after one of the characters.
“I say what I need to say,” says Helen. “And take one day at a time.”