Whyalla a supportive community for Novita team

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Novita’s experienced and professional team in Whyalla enjoys delivering services for people living with disability in the region – and the Whyalla community is proving to be friendly and welcoming for the team.

For the past four years, Novita has been providing a range of services for kids, young people, and adults living with disability in Whyalla and surrounding areas. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, child development education, serial casting, Assistive Technology and Day Options are among the services and supports delivered by the Whyalla team from our Forsyth Street hub.

Physiotherapist Amy Skipworth has been a member of the Whyalla team since February this year, and says she likes building rapport with her clients.

“Physiotherapists in the disability sector often work with kids with gross motor delays, and we do a lot of equipment prescription to enable our clients to live more independently and participate in their community,” says Amy.

“I work with clients from three years of age to people in their 50s across a wide range of disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and chromosomal disorders.”

Amy says being part of a community like Whyalla was one of the main reasons why she wanted to move to the country.

“I attended an engagement party here a few years ago and fell in love with everyone, so I decided I needed to live here. I’m now a member of one of the local hockey teams, and often see clients and their families at the hockey club. It’s nice to see them out and about,” says Amy.

“I think building a relationship with your clients and their families is much easier to do in a regional centre like Whyalla.”

 Occupational therapist Ben Luxton is a Whyalla local, and after completing his studies and working in an aged care role in Adelaide, returned to his home town to work for Novita.

“I am loving every second of it. I’ve been a member of the Whyalla team for two years,” he says.

“I have a varied and interesting mix of clients – the youngest is around three years old and the oldest is about 70. Working in a regional hub gives you the opportunity to get a taste of everything there is to offer, as well as experience across a wide range of disabilities and conditions.”

“As an occupational therapist I do a lot of sensory assessments, upper limb strengthening, a lot of fine motor skills, and day to day activities such as showering, self-care, hygiene, getting dressed – it very much depends on what our clients need.

“Accomplishing a goal that a client has been working on for a long time is definitely a favourite part of the job. They often sit back with a proud look on their face.”

Ben says the serial casting services offered through the Whyalla hub are especially beneficial for clients and their families.

“Amanda MacGillivray is a very experienced physiotherapist in Novita’s Port Lincoln hub, and she visits Whyalla to supervise castings, as well as teaching us how to do it.”

Physiotherapist Caitlin Lloyd studied at Flinders University, and work experience placements on Kangaroo Island and Alice Springs sparked her interest in working in regional communities.

“My first job was in Adelaide with a private community-based service organisation. I soon decided that I really wanted to look at a regional job and challenge myself a bit more, so I applied at Novita and got the job in Whyalla. It’s been three years now living and working in the Whyalla community,” says Caitlin.

Her clients range from babies to people in their 60s.

“I work with people who mainly need support with their physical skills, gross motor skills, mobility skills, strength, functional mobility, and equipment needs. My favourite part of the job is working with the little clients. I really do enjoy the early intervention field.”

“The Whyalla hub team is close and very supportive of each other. We often get together as a team, including our managers and administration staff, to discuss important issues or just to socialise.”

Caitlin says she and her husband enjoy being involved in the Whyalla community.

“He moved to Whyalla with me, and we’ve both become pretty involved in the local YMCA gym community. We love being around the community centre and the gym, and I also use the pool for work,” says Caitlin.

“We often see clients and their families when we go to local cafes or do our weekend shopping, which is nice. This is definitely a friendly and welcoming community, with a lifestyle that encourages you to build relationships.”

You can find out more about the services and supports provided by Novita’s Whyalla hub here.