To her family and closest friends, Joanne McCorley is fondly known as Queen Jo-Jo, much to her delight.
The 41-year-old loves singing, dancing, colouring in, puzzles, craft and even doing the household chores.
For 12 years, Jo has attended weekly group classes at YellowBridge QLD and received individual support to increase her confidence, be part of the community and improve her independent living skills.
She volunteers at Meals on Wheels and attends cooking classes on Monday, goes to the gym and dance class on Tuesday and has scrapbooking and sports on Thursdays.
When YellowBridge opened its new respite service for people with a disability this year, Jo was the proud first guest.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 10,000 people in Toowoomba need help in their day-to-day lives due to a disability.
That daily help is provided by carers – the mothers, fathers, partners, siblings, grandparents and guardians – who provide countless hours of unpaid care, attention and support for their loved one living with a disability.
“Our new respite care service is designed to provide relief or time-out for a carer, or when they are unavailable for any reason,” YellowBridge General Manager for Disability Support Gail Yates said.
“It is help for the helpers,” she said.
The YellowBridge service offers short or medium-term respite accommodation with one-on-one support.
“Respite guests have a great time. We go on excursions, play games, learn new skills and anything else that they want to do,” Ms Yates said.
During her respite stay, Jo and her support worker enjoyed lunch out, went swimming, visited Peacehaven Park, cooked meals and did lots of her favourite hobby, colouring-in.
Jo enjoyed her first respite experience so much that she has already returned for another stay.
YellowBridge QLD is one of Toowoomba’s largest disability support organisations that provides individual support, supported independent living and group activities. It also runs the boutique op shop Collectables that provides work and training opportunities for people with a disability.
For anyone interested in the respite service, contact YellowBridge on 1300 882 764.