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​Colour me impressed: Central West NDIS participants thank Bathurst inmates

Published date: Thursday, 8 August 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

Staff and participants from a Central West NDIS provider have thanked Bathurst Correctional Centre inmates for their help refreshing the group’s facility in Orange.

Eight carefully-selected minimum-security inmates carried out the work at Life Without Barriers in Anson Street over two weeks, repainting walls and polishing floors.

Life Without Barriers’ Manager Tracey Burford said her staff and NDIS participants looked forward to seeing them each day.

“We really appreciate the inmates’ help – repainting might seem like a small thing, but it really brightens the experience of our participants,” Ms Burford said.

“The inmates were so polite and respectful, it was a pleasure to have them here. Many of our clients are already asking when they’ll be back!”

As a token of their appreciation, Life Without Barriers will host a special thankyou BBQ for the inmates on 14 August.

Every month, the Bathurst Correctional Centre Community Projects Team provides more than 500 hours of inmate labour to projects across the Central West, including picnic grounds, churches and cemeteries.

Painting the Life Without Barriers’ Anson Street house is the team’s first project with an NDIS provider.

Community Projects Overseer Scott Keen says programs like his are vital to meeting the Premier’s target to reduce reoffending by 2023.

“These partnerships are a great opportunity for inmates to learn new skills while becoming accustomed to normal work hours and routines,” he said.

“For some of the inmates, this was their first time painting a house, but with a little on-the-job training, they turned out to be quick learners.”

“It can be a steep learning curve in this program. But the skills, confidence and self-respect the inmates develop from the work has a really positive impact on their chances of rehabilitation.”

Life Without Barriers is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit social purpose organisations, working in over 440 Australian communities to deliver a range of services in family support, disability, out-of-home care, aged care, mental health and

more. As a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider, it has more than 30 participants in the Orange district, many of whom access support at the Anson Street house.