Ian: Ned moved in here just before Christmas end of 2020 with Nic and Duncan. Myself and Ned's mum had spent a few months negotiating the way that this could happen.
Ned: Yeah. Yeah.
Jo: He said he wanted to live near to town and he wanted to live with some guys. That's, in a way, exactly what he's got. He's living with two young people his own age, who are just there to be people to live with. They're not support workers.
Nic: I get to help Ned live outside of his home with his mum and just live a normal life.
Ned: Yes. I thought they would be nice to be with.
Nic: I think we've hit it off really well. Even from the first time that we met each other, we just seemed to have some common interests and got along really well from there.
Jenna: I really got to know Ned predominantly through Zoom and we would spend a lot of time, I suppose, getting to know each other so that I could build that trusting relationship between him and I. We really explored what he wanted, what his goals were, who did he want to live with, exactly where did he want to live. Then once we had all of that information, I started looking for a property for Ned. Then I was also looking for flatmates for Ned.
Jo: I'm just really appreciative of these lovely young men who've come to live with Ned. To think that there's people who want to come and live with him is a very, very lovely, affirming thing. He's very comfortable with his housemates and it's lovely to see the interaction and it's absolutely what he wants. The chance for him to spend a lot of time with people his own age, to hang out with, who aren't family, is quite special. It's a challenge as well for him. But it's one he's coping with very well. They're housemates, they're not support workers. But at the moment, he needs some extra supports to give him a bit more of a framework and security and support, in terms of getting organised, getting out of the house, doing things like that.
Interviewer: Who does the most cleaning?
Nic: Good question. I'm-
Ned: Not me.
Nic: You didn't even think about that, did you?
Ned: No, I didn't. Yeah.
Nic: Yeah. Ned's rent or our rent is paid by Ned's NDIS Plan in exchange for our work that we do with him. It's costs us nothing to live here, which is amazing.
Jenna: In our occupancy agreement, the flatmate knows when they're going to definitely be required to be around, to be providing mentoring or companionship and support. The way that it usually works is that there's usually a bit of a timetable. With Ned, they have a time paper on the fridge and it will talk about what they'll be doing in the week. On a Sunday they have a dinner together and they catch up and they talk about what they want to do together throughout the week and when they're going to be together.
Nic: This is definitely the life I want to be living right now. We get along quite well. It's just normal. It's like living with a bunch of mates. You hardly even noticed that you're in a situation like this and people go, "Wow, that's so amazing what you're doing." I'm just living in a house with a couple of guys. It's nothing different for me really.
Ian: Yeah. I'm very proud of all of them to establish this, to worked it out and it's lovely to them living close into town, easy to visit. It was really normal and pleasant.
Duncan: He's an amazing human and he's just got a great perspective on life and it's definitely changed my perspective on life, that's for sure.
Ned: It's like my second family. Yeah.