Sandy Paws possible with the NDIS

Published On: 24 June 2021Categories: NDIS, News

 Song has turned her passion for dogs into a rewarding and successful business that is making Sunshine Coast canines and owners very happy.

Song, 17, who has auditory processing disorder, first accessed the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in March 2021 and has used her NDIS funding to help achieve her goal of working with animals by starting her own business.

Sandy Paws is a dog walking and dog day care business based in the Noosa region, which also offers overnight stays and homemade, organic dog products.

“I don’t reckon I would have had this business without the NDIS,” Song said.

“It just intrigued me, working with dogs and walking them. And also, just running your own business and doing it yourself, just you and the dogs.

“It’s been really successful; I just need more clients. But it’s doing really good and I mean, you’ve got to start somewhere, but it’s been a really good start.”

Song is noticing significant differences in her life since accessing the NDIS and starting her business, including the benefits of a routine, increased responsibility and greater independence.

“I think I have more structure in my day now that I’ve got my job set up,” Song said

Song’s Mum, Lyndal, provided business mentoring and support to help Song set up the business and Song is assisted three days a week by Imogen, a support worker funded through her NDIS plan.

“We have started off with a fairly structured routine for Song, to get into the rhythm of work and a business,” Lyndal said.

“They’ve got structured days, so on Mondays it’s a home day where they’ll do the bookkeeping, they’ll look at the week’s diary, check on the products, make more if they need them. They’ll do some social media postings and they might go up and do some horse riding together.

“Song’s actually started to teach Imogen how to horse ride, a bit of role reversal there. That’s after they’ve finished with the three hours.”

Song schedules the rest of her week with a balance of dog walking and day care for clients, cooking and manufacturing for her product range of dog treats and dog shampoo, and building her social skills.

“Friday’s a complete social day with Imogen. They usually do an activity together, like they’ll do an outward-bound activity, they’ll kayak up the river, or if it’s raining they might go to the movies,” Lyndal said.

Song’s plan for the rest of the year is to continue building her social life and the business, and for anyone thinking of starting a business, she has some simple advice.

“You’ve got to do what you want to do,” Song said.

“If you’re really passionate about it, like me with dogs and animals, I feel like that’s the easy part. If you really enjoy it, it will come naturally or easier.”

Song received assistance to implement her NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Maroochydore region.

Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.

If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.

You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or