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Justin joined Afford’s Beenleigh Day Program around a year ago. Living with intellectual disability, Justin is supported to achieve his goals of developing good friendships and finding activities that he truly loves.

The staff at Beenleigh have been working with Justin and his family to identify his interests. Considering his strengths and personality, they discussed a range of activities that he might enjoy and that could become a hobby.

A recent trip to Logan River Parklands with his friends from day program soon revealed Justin held a secret aquatic power.

Along with Afford Lifestyle Assistant, Tutaraki, Justin and the group headed to the water’s edge to cast their lines in to see what fish they could catch.

As a novice fisherman, Justin was supported by Tutaraki to bait his fishing rod and cast his line. They waited and watched until Justin felt a tugging on his fishing line.

He reeled in his first fish, took a photo and then set it free back in the water to live another day.

Justin’s confidence grew and so did his catch tally. He reeled in a total of four fish in his first fishing trip!

“I really love fishing, even though I have to let them go,” said Justin.

The fishing program is now a regular activity at the Beenleigh Day Program. Clients look forward to getting out by the water to try their hand at reeling in the biggest catch of the day.

“The fishing program is really popular because our site is so close to the water and everyone loves learning about how to fish,” said Tutaraki, Afford Lifestyle Assistant at Beenleigh.

“Many of our clients have never picked up a fishing rod, so it’s great that they can learn new skills for different activities. Fishing is very relaxing, which helps clients reduce any stress or negative emotions they might be feeling.”

Every individual who attends Afford day programs is supported to explore their interests. Programs are created to suit the interests of clients and to provide opportunities for skill development and engagement in new life experiences.

For Justin, his new-found hobby of fishing is one that he enjoys and that he can share with his friends at Beenleigh Day Program.

The experience has made Justin more open to sharing his opinions. He communicates more openly with staff as well as his peers and truly loves attending his day program.

Find out more about Lifestyle Assistants at Afford Day Programs across Australia can support you to identify the things you love and help you get involved in activities that make you happy.