SUMMER HOLIDAY PROGRAM:
Interchange Northern has access to a variety of holiday homes for the use of our members between mid-September and the end of March. Application forms for this program are circulated prior to this time, and the approval of applications is subject to availability and funding. Alternatively, families can apply for a subsidy to arrange their own holiday.
Helping make my holiday happen ...
My name is Carla. This year I was very lucky to have a great beach holiday with my sister and her family.
We went to Rosebud for a week, staying in a holiday house near the beach.
Every day we went to the beach and I played with my nieces Emilia and Georgia. They liked playing with their buckets and spades as well as splashing in the water. I helped Emilia collect lots of shells. During our stay we went to the Mount Arthur Maze. My favourite was the big slide. We also visited the sand sculptures in Frankston. They were great. I liked the Toyopia Toy Box. It had a toy box with a doll, teddy bear, soldier, blocks and more. It must have taken the man a long time to make it. One night I went fishing with Aidan and Parrish. We didn’t get home until 11 p.m. Another day my nephew, Aidan, took me to the shops and bought me a cappuccino. It was lovely. We took lots of photos during our holiday.
Thank you Interchange for helping to make my holiday happen. I really enjoyed myself.
Our Holiday in Port Fairy - What we needed the most ....
We headed off for one whole week just before Christmas to wonderful Port Fairy. I knew it would be tranquil at that time of the year and that was exactly what we all needed most. We arrived at our lovely charming old cottage Tikilara in the heart of Port Fairy and with South Beach at the end of our garden.
Serena had recently been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and our family was facing big challenges – the stress and unknown future was taking its toll. I had been working full time as well and my health was beginning to head downhill. Serena was finding most things difficult and all the things she used to enjoy were no longer practical nor did she want to participate as before. But she liked the idea of coming away with us and although I was nervous of spending a whole week with Serena without any carer support I decided to go for one week with the assistance from Interchange.
We did really simple things on our holiday mostly centred around relaxing in the sun, lovely food and great music. Serena was very reluctant to walk with us when we first arrived but after a few days she was enjoying longer walks and her whole mood and focus began to show great improvement and this has continued since our return. For the first time in months I feel hopeful that Serena can return to her old self and I have realised how important it is for us all to have proper rest and relaxation something we often overlook in our all too busy lives.
Thank you Interchange and the Trusts and Foundations for another wonderful holiday. Without the Interchange annual summer holiday program we might not have taken this much needed break.
Here is what Serena has to say about our holiday:
Our holiday was good and cool – happy times.
We went for walks along the beach, I loved running and playing Frisbee.
I liked our breakfasts in cafes in Port Fairy. I had very cool treats every day.
I liked my bedroom – my favourite room and bed – I slept so well.
I was happy there and I would like to go back to Port Fairy again with my mum and Jim.
By Jennifer, Jim and Serena
Wonderful experience ....
Our holiday at Phillip Island has been a relaxing holiday. Brothers and sisters of individuals who are diagnosed with a disability are often withdrawn around their friends as they might seem ‘different’, and sometimes when around their friends they are unable to acknowledge their sibling. But this would be an entirely different matter when siblings from families who have a disabled child in care come together, as there is common knowledge and most important- understanding. That has what happen through Interchange providing a holiday home to a four families during our trip at Phillip Island.
During this time at the holiday accommodation, children were able to relate to each other and become good friends and parents were able to sit down and chat, calmly knowing that there won’t be any embarrassing moments. Each family was able to freely plan trips to places they have always wanted to go together situated around Phillip Island and have fun while in the kitchen. Through this outing, siblings have also learnt more in how to take care of their brothers and sisters. Most important was that we all felt like a big family- that we are not alone. For everyone it has been a wonderful experience!
Thank you Interchange!
Written by Brian’s sister, Eva