This week our own Mobile Outreach Co-ordinator, Lesley Harrison, co-won of Information Specialist of the Year at the Annual Federation Awards.
When not dressed in black tie for National Awards Gala's, Lesley goes out into the community in her trusty van filled with equipment and information that can help people to live a great life and make day to day tasks easier.
She's service advisor and sharer of disability information, both locally and regionally. Lesley demonstrates equipment, puts equipment together if needed and lets people have ago to try for themselves. She's a champion of Enabling Good Lives (EGL), helping people understand the principles and what EGL means for them, and shares with them how to get in touch with their Needs Assessment Service Coordinator (NASC) or Mana Whaikaha.
But it's not just these skills that netted Lesley the trophy - Lesley is caring, gentle and very respectful of people.
She has also got herself a name as being successful with the lotteries grants applications. Customers come into EASIE Living to ask Lesley for advice and what they should have in their application.
Thanks to her work, our community has successfully applied to get:
1 companion dog
These aren't easy cases either, Lesley is often supporting those who have applied numerous times before.
“I help them to communicate what having a scooter would mean to their life. Things like being able to participate in whānau activities, be in control of their finances by being able to get to the bank, the fact they can continue to volunteer or be involved in activities in their marae - these are all important aspects of life that everyone should be able to access.”
Applicants need to demonstrate:
the impact their disability has on their ability to get out and about
what they’ve done to show they’re an active member of their community and what they’ve contributed
what challenges they face because they have no transport
what they may be able to contribute financially to the cost of the equipment.
It can be a fairly long process, and sometimes people aren’t successful on the first go, but Lesley encourages them to keeps trying until they get the answer, they’re after.