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Love your support work: 5 fun activities for when its cold and wet outside

InLife’s Ally Brown shares some great all-weather activities for support workers to get out of the house for a community access shift with a client in winter.

As a support worker it can sometimes be challenging to find things to do in the cooler months.

While in summer it can be easier to just head out for a walk or to explore the great outdoors, you might have to think harder when it comes to winter activities.

The temptation is sometimes to stay at home in the warm in front of the TV, but there are many benefits to getting out and about, no matter what the weather is doing

Here are some suggestions for free or low-cost activities outside the home for support workers and clients:

1.Community houses: These places are great and usually have tons of activities. Often they run employment-ready courses and resources, arts and crafts, exercise groups and some even run gardening sessions. One of my clients used to regularly take part in a free youth program at a community house. He was non-verbal but loved connecting with the other group members by playing video games together.

2. Libraries: Like community houses, libraries are full of interesting activities and resources. They also generally include quiet spaces where a client can take a moment. They are welcoming and have lots of resources, whether you want to look for a book or use the computers.

3. Volunteering: Match volunteering opportunities with your client’s interests. If they love animals, volunteering at the local animal shelter could be a good fit. Walking a dog or helping look after an animal can be great fun for everyone, four-legged friends included. There are also some volunteer-run cafes. Whether someone is making or enjoying a cuppa it’s sure to be social. In a nutshell, volunteering is a great way to build up strong community connections.

4. Leisure centres: Being able to either go to the gym or the pool and get moving helps both the body and mind. Why not incorporate an exercise session into the weekly schedule whether it’s an aerobics class or a quick dip? Leisure centres are also for the most part accessible with lifts and a water chair with a ramp. Remember to always follow recommendations for health professionals in regards to exercise, for example the OT or physio.

5. Movie time: Keep a look out for special movie deals or days (there’s often cheap tix on Tuesdays). Getting the chance to watch the latest blockbuster on the big screen beats hanging out at home.

If movies aren't your thing but you’re still looking for a treat, a pub/club lunch special could hit the spot. Nothing says winter like a warm soup or a parma on a cold day.

And if your client still has cabin fever, head out for a walk or a trip to your local botanic gardens (the greenhouses are generally nice and warm for a pit-stop). Just remember to rug up!

  • Ally Brown is InLife’s Creative Client Planning Lead. Passionate about disability support work, Ally has experience across group support, capacity building and independent living.

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