With their paintbrushes at the ready, our Miami and Southport Community Centre clients have been creating masterpieces each week during their Bottlebrush Workshops. Thanks to funding from a generous bequest, Afford was able to host on-site art classes led by professional artist Madeline O’Connor of Bottlebrush Workshops. Read more about how these classes have welcomed new clients to the community centre and awakened their passion for art.

Afford Community Centres go above and beyond to provide opportunities for growth, exploration and the development of life skills within a fun environment.

“The objective of these art classes is to provide fun, exciting and creative activities that enhance imagination while developing social and interactive skills. The sessions enrich our client’s wellbeing through sensory experiences with different textures and building confidence,” said Customer Care Manager, Tamara Dunn.

The sessions have been so popular that clients from Southport Community Centre have travelled to Miami just for the program. They have even tempted some of the one-to-one clients to try out the community centre for the first time.

“Alison is a one-to-one client who loves art and craft and asked if she could attend once she heard about them. That was a big step for her and previously, she had never wanted to come on-site. Now, after four weeks, she is loving it and says ‘hi’ and ‘I’ll be back next week.’ It’s great to see Alison coming out of her shell,” said Team Leader Kalo Patuki.

Another success story from the Bottlebrush Workshops is Brett, who used to be adamant that he did not enjoy arts and crafts.

“When he found out the classes were run by a professional, Brett became intrigued. He decided to come out and try the classes and he thought they were fantastic. He has since decided to transfer from Southport to Miami because he enjoys the sessions so much,” Kalo continued.

Parents from both sites have also shared great feedback about the arts and crafts sessions, saying they love the artwork and Madeline’s demeanour.

“Madeline is great with the clients. She interacts with them, doesn’t speak over them and always gets down to eye level. She is very patient and so is her assistant, who teaches at Southport Special School,” said Kalo.

Seeing our clients explore their passions, step out of their comfort zones and flourish is a fantastic experience made possible by those who leave a bequest to Afford.

You leave a legacy committed to bettering the lives of people with disability and your generosity creates these priceless experiences that our clients will never forget.

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