DOG THERAPY: Torin Murray Spenglar with Elvis and a Bethany resident
DOG THERAPY: Torin Murray Spenglar with Elvis and a Bethany resident Contributed

Bethany aged care residents get furry visit

STUDENTS undertaking their Cert III in Individual Support are exploring creative ways to entertain and engage with residents at the Bethany Aged Care Clinic and Rockhampton disability support services.

The students, who are undertaking their studies through Community Solutions' Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, recently visited the Bethany Clinic with "Elvis" the Maltese/Jack Russell cross, to gain less traditional on-the-job experience.

Community Solutions' Workforce Trainer Eloise Parker said the initiative sought to provide students with an opportunity to learn in a new way, whilst bringing pleasure for those they worked with.

"This is a new concept that has come from the idea that people learn in many different ways,' she said.

"Some people are tactile and learn by doing, some are auditory and listen to instructions, some are visual and learn by watching, and quite a few people learn through all three."

"The Bethany visit was such a huge success. Everyone loved it so much, it brought such a smile to the faces of the residents, and two of the students secured work at Bethany on the day."

Ms Parker said the Cert III Individual Support course delivered vital communication, interpersonal and influential skills, along with valuable work experience through industry visits. Formal training under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program is delivered by Rockhampton Registered Training Organisation Simple Solutions.

"Our students vary in age, culture and life experience, but they all want to study Individual Support because they share a common desire to support people in need," she said.

"Our next industry visit is to an organisation that holds Art Therapy classes for people with a disability. The aim of this visit will be to give the students an indication of many career avenues available to them following their completion of the course," she said.

"It will also help them to determine where their strengths and passions are within the health and support sector.

The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative in Rockhampton has been particularly successful to date, with an 85% completion rate and 80% of participants obtaining work after completing their vocational placements.

Established in 1998, Community Solutions is a community business providing an innovative and diverse range of employment, apprenticeship and traineeship, youth and health and wellbeing services to support individuals, families and communities throughout regional Queensland.

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