Reflections from Participants of the Pilot Project  

Recently, we visited Adelaide to meet with each member of the Community Cooperative and wrap up their National Pilot Project experience. Listening to their stories was heartwarming, as they shared the positive impact the National Community Cooperative Pilot Project has had on their lives. Their honest feedback on how the service can keep improving was invaluable. 

The Adelaide group live in individual apartments but benefits from a shared onsite support provider available 24/7, known as the “10+1 model.” Over the past 12 months, they have participated in a Pilot service design. During this time, they worked together to identify what matters most to them in their supports, what defines high-quality service from their perspective, how their current supports measure up, and what improvements they would like to see to better meet their collective needs and preferences. 

This is what some of them had to say. 

What have you learnt from being a part of the Pilot Project?

“What I’ve learnt by being a part of the pilot project is that I’ve actually got some power here and it gives you some life. You just realise that you’re not just a little pawn that’s moved around, that you actually have some power to change things… I tell you what, it feels amazing.” 

“Overall, the process has left me feeling more empowered about my own life. And has made things better for myself and the people around me. Feeling heard is fantastic.” 

How has being in the Pilot Project felt for you?

“I tell you what, it feels amazing. You don’t realise how powerless you can feel when you’ve got a disability and to be given back some power over your day-to-day carer support is amazing. It changes so much.”  

What were meetings like?

“When we met, it was lovely. It was at a little restaurant. We had coffee. The facilitators were great. They really were clear about what they wanted to achieve through the meeting, and we talked about what we wanted, what our goals were, what was important to our lives.” 

Pilot Project 

How has this enabled your “Choice and Control”?

“I just never realised I had as much as I have here. It’s been a really amazing eye-opener.” 

“The choices that we get, it is laid out for us. The kind of decisions that we can make, and things that we’re not super aware that we have control over. So it allows us to be able to actually properly cater to our personal experiences.”

How important was it to you that the facilitator was independent?

“For the Facilitator to be independent, it’s critical. If it’s a part of the organisation you are critiquing, you won’t be able to say the things you want to say and they potentially could be swaying you in your responses and all of that… I think a lot of it is the facilitator. That’s really a bit critical in all of this. If you have someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, don’t worry about it.” 

What kind of impact have you seen by your group being a part of the Community Cooperative Pilot?  

“The meetings are really productive. They’ve got amazing outcomes… In terms of the feedback that we give to the group leader, lots has been acted on and actioned… It’s been a powerful meeting to be at so you can give input.” 

What do you think should happen from here, with the Pilot?  

“I think it would be great if the pilot project could be taken to all people with disabilities to let them know that they have power. Often we feel a little bit powerless in situations, so to have the capacity to change your circumstances is absolutely out of this world amazing. Yeah.” 

This is one of the eight Cooperatives wrapping up their time in the Pilot Project over the coming months. We look forward to sharing more with you about what they’re saying.  

Pilot Project 
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