Chris started swimming when he was about 10. He’s represented Australia. But these days, thanks to CVGT Australia, he’s on the Eltham Leisure Centre squad, as an aquatic attendant.
“When I first met Chris and got a bit of his background, I decided that we’d do our best to get him into a local swimming pool,” says Kelly from CVGT Greensborough. “Then I met Eltham Leisure Centre, and they were keen as soon as I spoke about him.”
Lisa, head of aquatics, adds: “We fell in love with Chris at the first meeting. We knew he would be a really good match.
“We were able to tailor his tasks to the things that he was capable and happy to do. Kelly made this so much easier for us from his inductions. She helped Chris with first aid, CPR, and the working with children’s check.”
Chris makes sure the pool area looks the goods and that the first aid kits are stocked. Kelly initially used photos and checklists to ensure Chris understood the work tasks. But it wasn’t long before she took a step back. Chris had it covered.
“He’s independent now, he does it all on his own. Kelly basically gave us the employee ready to go. She was really helpful,” says Lisa.
Chris has formed friendships with colleagues and patrons. His confidence has skyrocketed, and he’s gained a sense of purpose from the meaningful work.
“I just love coming here and I love working here with all my friends,” he says.
Workmate Tyler loves having Chris on the team, and says he is very thorough. He gets through his checklist, ticks everything off, and ensures it’s all done properly.
Chris’s colleague Kathryn says that he also brings a sense of inclusion to the centre. “Our patrons see him working here and can see that anything is possible,” she says.
“Chris has really come out of his shell. When he first started he was meek and shy, and you’d have to say, ‘Hey Chris, how are you going?’ Now he’s the one coming up to us to say g’day, tell you he’s done his tasks, and ask how else he can help.”
By starting work, Chris has found a community.
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