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Living independently means that you have a place to call home. A place where you can share meals with friends, take time out when you please, or even go out to dinner when you want.

For the residents of the Afford Group Homes in Penrith, there’s always something to do or new things to learn, which makes life interesting for the housemates of the Butterflies, Dolphin Cove and Billabong homes.

Sharing responsibility for the shopping, preparation and cooking of meals isn’t considered  a chore for these housemates. Dean from Dolphin Cove loves taking the lead for his house’s grocery shopping. He is very determined to learn new skills that will help him become more independent and by collecting the groceries listed on his shopping list, Dean is pushing himself to achieve this independence.

In the Butterflies home, the ladies put their chef hats on to create healthy pizzas for dinner with the support of Afford Lifestyle Assistants. They chose the toppings for the pizzas and cut and sliced all the ingredients ready to put on the pizza. The result was some delicious pizza and very proud ladies of the Butterflies home!

But it isn’t all about home life, living independently also means that residents can get out in the community to enjoy local events or to celebrate milestones with friends.

The Butterflies residents recently attended the Real Festival on the Nepean River. The ladies travelled to the event via the Nepean Belle – which was a new experience in itself! – and then when at the event, they enjoyed a range of sensory displays, music and performances.

Getting out and about in the community can also mean simply celebrating with housemates, who are now considered good friends.

Colin from the Billabong home wanted to celebrate his birthday with his housemates at one of his favourite places – Penrith Panthers Leagues Club.

Colin loves a good laugh and has made a number of friends across the Billabong, Dolphin Cove, Bluebird and Rainbow Group Homes in Penrith, who he invited to share his birthday celebrations.

Once everyone in the group had arrived at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club, orders were placed and everyone carried on chatting, singing and laughing with each other. Colin opened presents, everyone took photos and enjoyed a delicious piece of birthday cake.

Colin certainly enjoyed creating wonderful memories with this friends during his birthday celebration.