Friday, 25 September 2015

connectABLE Short Film Showcases Gavin's Love of Gardening

Community Care Options (CCO) approached Coffs Harbour Garden Club (CHGC) in late 2013 asking if our club would be a partner in a program called ConnectABLE where people with disabilities have inclusion in community groups. Club President Geoff Bell asked Gavin and his family if he could cite Gavin as an example of how our club was already doing this. 

With the Reid family's agreement, Geoff contacted the ConnectABLE team explaining that CHGC had a member with a disability who was living proof of just how integral a person with a disability can be to a community group. Geoff shared with the CCO team just how much of a valued member of the Garden Club Gavin is, giving examples of Gavin's interaction as part of the CHGC membership. 
  • At each monthly meeting Gavin is responsible for giving a talk about a particular subtropical plant (with cultural notes) and how to grow them in the Coffs Harbour area. This not only has developed Gavin's self esteem but is very, very informative as many CHGC members are new to Sub-tropical gardening and the Coffs Harbour region. 
  • The CHGC, as a community service maintain the Coffs Regional Airport Air-side garden and Gavin is a willing team player at each monthly visit.
  • Each year there are major events that the CHGC participate in and Gavin is always a willing helper - for example, the Coffs Show and Spring Garden Competition.

CCO decided to produce a series of short films showcasing how people with disabilities interacted with various community groups, and Gavin was selected to be one of those people.  Gavin was filmed doing what he enjoys most in life (apart from his coffee) spending quiet time in his garden creating something which brings much joy not only to him, but many other people.

Geoff and I were thrilled last week to attend the premiere of the short films as representatives of the CHGC.  There were four people featured in the films - Bradley, Dani, Hank and our Gavin. They each have a different story to tell and are all so very dissimilar, but one thing absolutely stood out throughout - their total commitment to the various groups and clubs who had welcomed them.

Over 100 people joined the team from CCO (and of course the stars of the show!) at the Jetty Memorial Theatre Thurs 24 September for the premiere of the films. What a great night it was, and a real pleasure to be there supporting Gavin!

To see the first of the short films please visit this link.

Thank you to the CCO team for a tremendous initiative, particularly Kate and Paula.

Maria Bell
Communications Co-ordinator
Coffs Harbour Garden Club

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