Our Windarring Castlemaine community is active, healthy and always busy. We currently provide a service to around 30 participants who participate in group funded activities, two participants who are engaged in community participation with support from a member of staff and two participants who self-fund to participate in group activities. The range of activities provided mainly focuses on lifestyle, independence, leisure, recreation, and health & fitness. The success of these activities is largely attributed to the incredible team of staff & volunteers. Their hard work, dedication and great partnerships with community groups and other organisations are major factors contributing to our achievements.
Our emphasis has been on our commitment to a person-centred focus, basing our support on what the participants want in their life and advocating for service users. This has been made possible through open communication with the participant, families and carers, and participants’ key workers.
Power bar & circuit training
On Thursday mornings 15 gym junkies head to the Old Castlemaine Goal where they are met by fitness instructor Mandy Chilcott for a one hour fitness and strength session at the gym. The aim is to improve cardio fitness, increase muscle strength, assist in weight management and have fun.
Dance & movement
Due to the sell-out success of the My Beautiful Puppet performance in November last year at the Phee Broadway Theatre in Castlemaine, we were fortunate to receive an Arts Grant of $8,000 (thanks to Sun Corp). An expression of interest went out to participants, and 10 took up the challenge. We are grateful to have Michelle Heaven as our sessional dance teacher. Sessions involve warm up, body awareness, stretching, moving with breath, cross brain movement challenges, upbeat movement sequences, follow the leader, physical, creative and performance tasks for groups and individuals, improvisation, observation and discussion.
Towards the end of the 14 weeks emphasis will shift towards creating a short presentation to share with family and friends in mid-December.
Leisure & Recreation
Two sessions per week of ten pin bowling (competition and social), two sessions of swimming and weekly carpet bowls. These activities are offered all year round.
Health & Fitness
Two sessions per week (individual strength and cardio program); Healthy Heart Foundation walks (CHIRP initiative); weekly sessions of Yoga (armchair and beginners level); gentle stretching and exercise to music.
Healthy Heart Walk
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings a group of participants from Windarring meet other members of the community to take part in the Healthy Heart Walk inspired by Castlemaine Community Health. Each participant has their heart rate and blood pressure monitored by a nurse before they take part in a 1.7 km walk around the Botanical Gardens. After the walk they have their rate and pressure taken again. If their blood pressure goes down and heart rate goes up it means they have walked at a pace that has been healthy for their heart. Then there is a cuppa and a biscuit. Volunteers from Windarring and CHIRP make this possible.
Computer Information Technology
This activity is quite popular. Activities offer basic to intermediate levels of computer competency such as educational games, emailing, website browsing and PowerPoint presentations. New units introduced this year include using Facebook for social networking, and the use of USB memory sticks which enables service users to continue their projects at home. X-Box games that involve fun full-body physical activity have also been introduced. Both the Digital Photography Group and the Newsletter Group continued this year with the production of a quarterly newsletter publication. In addition the computer lab is a popular pastime for a number of participants over the lunch break.
Cooking – participants choose recipes, purchase the ingredients, prepare a shared meal and clean up afterwards. Some prepare their meal to take home and share with family members. This program is offered three times per week as is a very popular choice.
The Woodwork group has been busy fulfilling orders, including outdoor garden furniture, chopping boards, restoring chairs and bags of kindling. They were also contracted to restore cast iron garden seats from Newstead Cemetery Trust.
Arts and Crafts
We have many fantastic artists who have submitted paintings, drawings, ceramics and photos to exhibitions again this year. Personal rug making is a very popular activities with four participants. They take great delight handing out the completed rug to family as presents.
Windarring Castlemaine is privileged to have a committed band of volunteers who assist both service users and staff in a number of programs. The volunteers have established a fantastic rapport with everyone at the service. We are extremely fortunate to have these people, and their contribution each week can only be described as “commitment”.