Toowoomba local Andrea Nunn is passionate about giving back to her community.
Andrea has epilepsy and a hypoxic brain injury, and worked as a pharmacy assistant locally for more than 15 years.
After a change to her medication led to a series of grand mal seizures in 2016, Andrea is no longer able to work.
Today, with support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Andrea is able to continue doing her bit for her town.
“I have had a long journey and have realised you don’t have to be in paid work to contribute to society.
“The NDIS has opened up so many volunteering opportunities for me,” she said.
Andrea now volunteers her time teaching the young women of Toowoomba about service and responsibility.
“I have gone back to the Girl Guides as a unit helper, working with the junior guides.
“We have ten girls and we run programs focusing on learning, self-development, community and self-awareness. It’s also about women’s and girls’ empowerment, learning about speaking up and self-advocating.
“If I can show the girls that despite my health issues or disabilities I can be that person that they can become too, then I have made a difference,” she said.
Through NDIS funding, Andrea has attended specialist driving lessons to get her back on the road following her seizures.
“Driving has been great because it has given me access to things I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
“Being able to help out friends who don’t drive because of their own health issues has also been a big thing,” she said.
Six months ago, Andrea moved out into her first unit, living independently with drop in support.
“When I got my second NDIS plan, I had been looking at private rentals and got the lease on my place the afternoon I got my plan.”
She said that moving out of the family home had been an exciting education in the ways of the world.
“I have my support workers to help me with being on time, being able to maintain my own unit and make appropriate decisions.
“For example, eating right. Being an adult, you are allowed to have Tim Tams for dinner, but you’re going to wake up at 2 am in the morning wanting something decent,” she said.
Andrea said the support from the NDIS has allowed her to develop her confidence and build her independence.
“I have been able to develop into being Andrea. I have developed on my own terms and developed friendships outside of formal settings. I can have people over for coffee, I can host dinner, I can have the family around and things like that.
“With my driving and my support workers I am not so dependent on people, which means that the relationships with my family are so much better. I am on my time and my terms.”
Andrea is supported on her journey by Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partners in the Community for the Toowoomba region.
For more information about the NDIS or how to access it, p contact Carers Queensland Toowoomba office on 07 4646 2800 or on 1300 999 636, or email@example.com