If you're new to the NDIS, you may have come across the phrase "social and community participation". This support category is all about meeting new people, getting out and about, increasing independence, and having fun while you're at it! It's also one of the five NDIS funding areas that you can use Like Family for.
Social and community participation supports can cover anything from going to the movies with a support worker, joining your social group, or even doing a pottery class. It depends on what activities you like to do, and what goals you're working towards.
If you're interested in getting assistance with social and community participation for yourself or a loved one, here's how to get started.
Check if assistance with social and community participation is included in your NDIS plan
The Assistance with Social and Community Participation support category is a Core Support. There's a similar Capacity Building support called Increased Social & Community Participation that focuses on development and training and is often used for classes, coaching and camps. Talk to the NDIS or your plan manager if you're unsure whether you have the right funding.
You'll find the Assistance with Social and Community Participation support category covers a wide range of activities — they just have to be reasonable and necessary and help you work towards your goals. Here are some examples:
- Playing sports, like cricket or tennis
- Learning new skills, like knitting or coding
- Visiting friends and family
- Trying hobbies, like painting or baking
- Going to events, like a play or a music festival
- Going to places in the community, like the supermarket
You can't use your social and community participation funding for things like personal or medical care.
Don't have NDIS funding? Don't worry! You may be able to use mainstream and community supports from government-funded or local community services. These supports are available to people of all abilities.
Get advice from the experts
There are plenty of people who can help you find social and community participation supports in your local area. The main ones are:
- Local area coordinators
- Support coordinators
- NDIS planners
- Family and friends
- Support workers
Talk to these people about your goals, what type of activities you're interested in, and what skills you'd like to learn. They may find and connect with local providers on your behalf, or point you in the right direction.
Look for social and community participation activities online
Apart from talking to people in the industry, you can use the Internet to find social and community participation activities in your local area.
Most NDIS providers that provide social and community participation supports will have their own website and social media profiles. You can also search for providers on the NDIS Provider Finder site. You also may find activity ideas via sites like Eventbrite, Meetup, Humanitix or your local council site.
Before you sign up for something, here are some things to consider:
- Can you use your NDIS funding for this activity?
- Is the provider reliable? (look at their reviews or talk to others who have used them before)
- Will you need assistance with transport to get to and from the activity? Transport costs may be covered by your plan.
- Are there any additional costs involved? This could include tickets, equipment hire or parking costs.
- Is the venue accessible and COVID-safe?
Go to your local disability expo
If you feel more comfortable doing your research face-to-face, keep an eye out for the next disability expo in your local area. There's a lot of them!
These events bring heaps of NDIS providers into the same room to showcase their services, including those that offer social and community participation supports. Check out the stalls, talk to new people, and pick up some free stationery while you're at it!
Consider group activities
Want to meet new people and make friends? Consider using your social and community participation supports as part of a group activity!
Some NDIS providers like Like Family offer 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 bookings so you can participate in social activities and go to events with other NDIS participants (with the help of a support worker, of course).
This is a fantastic way to meet people with similar interests and go to places you've never visited before. We've facilitated group outings to the zoo, theme parks, and the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Choose activities that best align with your goals
Now that you've done your research, it's time to decide how to use your NDIS funding! Ultimately, you should choose activities that best align with your goals and interests.
If you're looking to make more friends and improve your social skills, you may want to join a team sport. If you're looking to increase your independence, you may find a support worker who can help you buy groceries and learn how to cook.
You have choice and control over what activities you do, when, and with whom.
Find a social support worker with Like Family
If you're looking for assistance with social and community participation, you've come to the right place. Like Family is an NDIS registered provider that specialises in social and community support. We even call our support workers "Social Carers"!
Our Social Carers can help you with a range of activities, like exercise, arts & craft, recreational games, transportation and a buddy for social events. Our hourly rates are simple and affordable, with no hidden fees.
Sign up today to find a Social Carer near you!