Creativity, learning and fun in isolation

Wheely fun: Reece, Owen, Ben, Stephen and Keagan on the Thomas the Tank Engines they built for the Bin Isolation challenge.
Wheely fun: Reece, Owen, Ben, Stephen and Keagan on the Thomas the Tank Engines they built for the Bin Isolation challenge.

Like everyone around the globe, COVID-19 has brought complications to the way that The Disability Trust operates and resulted in the temporary closure of some of their much-loved programs.

They have been taking a risk management approach to supporting participants through this period.

Keeping people safe is their number one priority but ensuring that their participants remember this time, not for what they missed but for the fun they had is what sets them apart.

"We are extremely fortunate to have amazing frontline workers who are not just professional but innovative and creative as well," says Lainie Jones, residential manager at The Disability Trust.

While at home, clients in The Disability Trust's Supported Independent Living homes have been engaged in all number of activities including craft, exercise and cooking but the Facebook group Bin Isolation Outing really caught their attention as it has across the world.

One house took the Bin Isolation challenge to the next level incorporating one of the resident's favourite characters Thomas the Tank Engine.

The response on Facebook was amazing, reaching over a million followers from all corners of the world.

The project took the house two weeks to complete with painting, learning to search on the computer about how to make the signs on the carriages and one of the young men teaching staff and the other residents how to sing the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song.

It was an amazing experience and activity for all and a great chance to help improve skills and learn new things for both staff and clients.

"Henry's my favourite train because he's the big engine. I loved painting because I got to make a mess but it's okay because I was making a train and I could pretend to be a train driver. I think I'm going to be a train driver when I'm older so I can toot the horn," said Stephen, one of the residents.

Keagan, another resident said, "I love Wheel's, but Percy is my favourite, he's the green one. Making Thomas and his friends was fun because I got to be with my special helpers and friends all week to make something. Next time I want to make the Illawarra convoy trucks because I love them."

Not content with leaving it there the innovative support workers at the house then supported the young men in a fantastic lesson in geography, mapping out where in the world the comments and likes came from giving them a wonderful project to work on whilst in isolation.

Lainie said, "I couldn't be prouder of our teams and the way they are working through this pandemic.

"Our teams are working long hours on the frontline with some of the most vulnerable people in our community going above and beyond every day to help our residents understand the situation to the best of their abilities, remain calm, busy and entertained.

"They truly are a very creative and amazing group of individuals."

The Disability Trust is committed to providing highly professional care and support to people with disabilities and their families.

They are an experienced NDIS provider and have been supporting great outcomes for the many people who access their services. With a thorough understanding of the NDIS their staff are able to support you to get the most from your NDIS plan.

For more information about The Disability Trust's services or vacancies in their Supported Independent Living houses go to their website at or contact 1300 DISABILITY (1300 347 224.)