“I can do anything I hope to” – Sharon
Sharon was an accomplished young showjumper and equestrian rider until a car accident left her with an acquired brain injury and physical disabilities at the age of 16.
She didn’t think she would ever be able to ride again. But now, decades later, her love of horses has been rekindled and she has gained the confidence to get back in the saddle – an achievement she says was made possible by her UnitingCare lead practitioner, Caroline.
Caroline explains: “Three years ago, Sharon was very quiet and didn’t really speak out. We really wanted Sharon to find her courage and tell us what she wanted, so we talked about what her goals were. She told us it was horseriding.”
“I wanted to find the courage to get back on a horse again,” said Sharon.
While researching places for Sharon to ride and interact with her beloved horses, the pair continued with Sharon’s daily exercises to improve her leg strength. Soon enough, Sharon was back where she belonged. “It was a real heart-melt moment to see her up there and the smile on her face was amazing,” says Caroline of seeing Sharon on horseback for the first time.
For Sharon, it was both a victory and an important turning point – one that has empowered her to redefine what she’s capable of.
“To see how Sharon is flourishing now compared to prior is just amazing,” says Caroline.
Some years ago, Caroline gave up her desk job to become a support worker – and it’s a decision she has never once regretted. “I find it a lot more fulfilling,” she says.
The biggest perk of the job? Encouraging people to believe in themselves enough to overcome their challenges and achieve their dreams. She explains: “Seeing Sharon find her voice and find the courage to try different things… To see her get back up on that horse with confidence: they are the things I’m most proud of.”
Caroline and Sharon’s relationship goes far beyond that of practitioner/client. “We’re a great team. We can bounce off each other, we can joke with each other, we can pick on each other! I’m there to guide Sharon in the right direction, help her out in the community and make sure Sharon’s getting everything she needs, wants and deserves.”
What that doesn’t mean, though, is doing everything for her. As Caroline explains, independence is key.
“We stand back and let them push forward doing what they want to do.” And if something happens? “Well, then we’re there to pick it up, help them along and encourage them not to give up.”
To watch Sharon’s story, go to https://www.unitingcareqld.com.au/possible.
Every day, UnitingCare Queensland supports people in redefining what’s possible in their lives. From your most practical daily needs through to your most ambitious life goals, we work with people to identify what’s important in their lives and support them in finding ways to make it happen. We offer a full range of disability and NDIS supports.
So what’s your Mission Possible? Go to https://www.unitingcareqld.com.au/possible to find out more. Or why not come and speak to us at the Brisbane Disability Expo, Friday and Saturday, 1 and 2 November, Royal International Convention Centre? Click here to register.