Nathan Balkwill has always loved the outdoors and feels right at home as a Grounds and Maintenance team member with ACH Group.
The 27-year-old lives with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects his movement and muscle coordination.
But he hasn’t let that stop him taking on a range of tasks, from clipping hedges and mowing lawns to painting and general maintenance duties.
“It’s really good here, it’s challenging, and I’m trying a bit of everything,” he said. “I enjoy getting out and about and I feel really welcomed and included here.”
Nathan was employed by ACH Group through its partnership with Barkuma Employment that began in 2013.
Nathan has weekly physiotherapy and personal training sessions to help manage the condition and strategies to help him move safely. A Barkuma care worker visits Nathan once a week to check on his progress.
Grounds and Maintenance Supervisor Cameron Scott says he has been impressed by Nathan’s work.
“He is willing to give anything a go; he’s a great worker,” he says. “He’s learning a lot and he’s not afraid to take on a new task.”
Kapara Site Manager Freda Kontoleon sees the employment of staff with a disability a good fit with the vision and values of ACH Group.
“We believe that intergenerational interactions are part of a good life for our residents, who have really welcomed the new workers,” she says. “As a not for profit, we have a wider interest in social justice and believe that all people deserve the opportunity to live a good life.”