Participant Stories

Dennis is 39 years old, he has an intellectual disability and Prada Willi Syndrome. Dennis lives independently and receives support to maintain his everyday living needs. This includes support to manage his finances and other commitments and motivation to maintain exercise and make healthy food choices.

Dennis has a keen interest in a variety of different sports and activities. Currently he plays golf, indoor mixed netball and ten pin bowling and is keen to participate in lawn bowls. He participates in many WADSA activities, archery being a favourite and particularly enjoys competitions and camps.
Through participation in WADSA Camps Dennis has achieved the following;

  • Dennis assists with the set up and running of WADSA activities as a volunteer – for example at the High support Needs Expo in Donnybrook.
  • Dennis has been able to make an assessment of camping equipment required and has budgeted and purchased his own tent and sleep mat.
  • Dennis is able to demonstrate independence to attend WADSA camps with minimal support from WADSA staff – and now does not require more intensive support from his Disability Support Organisation support worker.
  • Dennis has progressed from attending camps that were fully catered; through to assisting with meal preparation to a stage now where he can be responsible for purchasing all his own food and drinks from a menu plan and is able to self- cater whilst on camp.
  • Denise was invited by Barrabup Sanctuary owner / manager to return after a WADSA camp to stay over independently – Dennis is planning a weekend away with one of his friends Kelvin.

I love going on camp with WADSA and my friends, it has helped me be much more independent.

- Dennis

Being involved in WADSA camps has given me the confidence to get more involved in my community.

- Kelvin

Kelvin is 46 years old and lives independently in a lovely new unit rented through Access housing and has support to maintain his everyday living needs. He has an intellectual disability and is able to self- manage his type 1 diabetes. Whilst Kelvin is highly skilled and drives and has his own car, he has been unable to work for several years due to some significant health issues. Being able to get away from home to be with friends has been a factor in preventing isolation and has encouraged Kelvin to participate in his community.

In the past Kelvin has played Netball and Indoor cricket to State representative level and currently swims and plays golf regularly. He is a keen participant in most WADSA activities, competitions and Camps.

Through participation in WADSA activities we have been able to observe a development of Kelvins abilities including the following;

  • Kelvin is able to assist with the set up and running of WADSA activities as a volunteer – for example the High Support Needs Expo Donnybrook, Collie Golf Events and Bunbury Special Olympics Multi Sports Day.
  • Kelvin is able to revisit community venues once he has been there on camp – he has taken friends to WADSA Camp venues Barrabup Sanctuary and Collie Motorplex.
  • Kelvin is able to demonstrate independence to attend CAN camps with minimal support from WADSA staff – he now does not require more intensive support from his DSO support worker.
  • Kelvin has progressed from attending camps that were fully catered; through to assisting with meal preparation to a stage now where he can be responsible for purchasing all his own food and drinks from a menu plan and is able to self- cater whilst on camp.

Greg is 75 years old and has cerebral palsy. He often tells the story of being born only weighing about 1 pound of butter and that his parents were told that he may not live past the age of 6 with his disability. Greg uses an electric wheelchair and is currently living in a group home..

Greg attended his first WADSA camp with his support worker who also worked with WADSA and has taken part in many activities he never thought possible thanks to the adaptive and modified activities and equipment delivered
by WADSA.

Greg cannot keep count on how many camps he has been on but through participation in WADSA Camps Greg has experience and achieved the following;

  • Greg is able to assist and direct campers in all aspects of camp including set up of tents, set up of camp kitchen area, assist with shopping, food preparation and cooking.
  • Greg was a member of the Discover Nature Reference Group and part of the research team that visited campsites to review campsites accessibility for individuals in a wheelchair.
  • Greg trialled new prototype equipment and gave his input into further development of the equipment.
  • Greg trialled many types of tents, bedding, ramps, tent flooring and bathroom facilities to see which made easier access for wheelchair users, taking into consideration the type of wheelchairs and hoists individuals may use and also the weather and charging options for wheelchairs and hoists.
  • Greg has so many great memories and stories to tell of his camping adventures and will cherish the all.

I have been lucky to have gone on a lot of WADSA camps and I have so many memories and stories to tell. Thank you WADSA.

- Greg

Check out WADSA’s Camps . . . . It’s one of the things they do BEST !