With a beaming smile and lots of giggles, Ayden was ecstatic on his recent visit to Cleland Wildlife Park, where he met one of Australia’s most iconic furry friends, the koala.

In just a few short weeks at Holden Hill Community Centre, he has become a bright and bubbly version of himself and has achieved many goals.

“Ayden loved the park! He patted the animals, took a relaxing stroll around the grounds and even took some photos on his phone. Then, when Ayden came back to the hub, he showed me the pictures he took and they were beautiful,” said Holden Hill Team Leader, Roseanne Muller.

Patting the koala was a significant highlight of the day. With his Lifestyle Assistant Henry Agu by his side, Ayden got to see the koala’s fluffy ears up close and pat its soft fur.

“I have never seen Ayden so relaxed, happy and smiling the way he did at the conservation park. He also really liked seeing the birds. He had a fun day,” said Henry.

Henry has been supporting Ayden since he joined Afford. In the two weeks before the day out, when he would ask Ayden what he would like to do for the day, Ayden consistently chose to stay indoors and play his favourite game, Minecraft.

Henry spoke to Ayden’s mum about some potential outdoor activities to try and encourage Ayden to access the community. She suggested Cleland Wildlife Park or Henley Beach and when Henry offered both options to Ayden, he chose the park right away.

“Ayden’s mum is so happy with his progress at Afford so far. We love to see Ayden’s progression and look forward to supporting him for as long as we can!” continued Roseanne.

Hopefully, their next day out will be to Henley Beach, where Ayden can soak up the sun and feel the ocean breeze.

Afford Community Centres deliver group and one-to-one support to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to live the life they want.

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