Avenue news


Increased confidence, meaningful friendships, and inspiring others: Eden’s experience at Avenue

July 9, 2024

Eden is a member of the Avenue Animals team and also attends Avenue Social once a week, where she enjoys an exciting range of activities with a supportive group of friends. 

This month alone has seen the Avenue Parramatta Social team head to all kinds of events and activities, from the ‘Dream Circus’ at Luna Park, to jewellery making classes, the Barrack Museum and even a State of Origin game. 

There’s a lot of fun to be had, but also opportunities for skills to be learned, and that’s what stands out the most when it comes to Eden’s experience with the Social team. 

Eden has built on her independence, becoming familiar with many different modes of public transport, using ferries, buses and trains to travel to activities with the Social team. 

supportive social program

“The support workers come with us and show us what platform to wait on after looking at the screen. These guys show you how to do it,” said Eden.

Eden has also vastly improved her confidence, regularly putting herself out of her comfort zone to try new things. Avenue Team Coordinator, Otto, has noticed Eden’s can-do attitude.

“I think that Eden has always made a really consistent effort at trying new things, especially what I’ve noticed with you, Eden, is that even if you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re still open to giving it a go,” said Otto.

“I think that that’s been really impressive. And I also think that your attitude has really passed on to other people in the team as well. Because that type of powerful attitude to trying new things gives a lot of other people confidence to do it as well. That might be where you’ve made a lot of your friends.”

Eden agrees, demonstrating her determination with a resounding “Yeah, I never give up.”

Eden out on Avenue social
Eden enjoying Avenue social with her friends

Eden’s attitude towards embracing new activities and challenges has become a source of inspiration for her fellow team members, and led to the blossoming of some beautiful new friendships. 

She speaks of her friendship with fellow team member Caitlin as a positive part of her Avenue experience.

Caitlin’s one of my close friends at Avenue. She’s nice, she helps me a lot with Avenue stuff, and she sits there with me and helps me focus,” said Eden. 

Eden and Caitlin bonded over their shared love for cooking, and now they swap recipes and occasionally bake together, even bringing a loaf of banana bread into the hub to share.

But while Eden has crafted a close friendship with Caitlin based on mutual interests, she’s also making a notable effort to communicate and work efficiently alongside those with very different interests to her own. 

“I would say that the biggest thing I’ve noticed is just how much you’ve grown with making friends and also meeting very different people from yourself and still getting along with them. It’s been cool to see,” said Otto. 

Eden credits this willingness to making new connections to her time at school, but notes that the change in scenery has been daunting at times.

“When I first started [at Avenue], I was very nervous, but I pushed through it, and talked to a friend who kind of helped me a little bit,” said Eden.

She’s embraced new people, expanded her friendships and more recently, embraced a new work environment in the Avenue Animals team, where participants are empowered to run all aspects of a thriving doggy day care business. However, despite being new to the Animals team, Eden said she feels comfortable because of her own furry family member back home.

“Because I have a dog at home I’m used to dogs. Dogs know when you’re happy or sad and I love dogs. That’s why I wanted to go into the Animals team, and I’m really happy with it,” said Eden.

It’s evident that Eden’s newfound confidence is a source of pride for her. Her willingness to face situations that can naturally be uncomfortable, like being interviewed for this article, has shown her what she’s capable of.

“I wanted to try it and see how I went. I was a bit nervous though, but I thought ‘everything is going to be ok’. I wanted to give it a good try,” said Eden.

Avenue is a day program alternative where people of all abilities are supported to complete work tasks, socialise and develop their individual skills, regardless of their support needs.