THROUGHOUT my life I have experienced many chapters - and one that always seems to bring a smile to my face is meeting and working alongside people with disabilities.
From an early age I have grown up with the mindset that people with special needs have more love in their little finger than we do in our whole bodies.
With that in mind I would like to dedicate this week’s blog to the amazing and incredible people who are involved and work at Kingaroy Kitchen and Fine Foods, a facility of the Endeavour Foundation.
Click on the photos featured below to see more in our online gallery.
The Endeavour Foundation is a community based, non-for-profit organisation that supports people with disabilities throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It is “an organisation that is a disability services industry leader with a successful history of more than 60 years”.
I had the privilege of going to Kingaroy a couple of weeks ago and photographing Hazel Patterson and her team. Hazel has spent the past 35 years working with the Endeavour Foundation and operates Kingaroy Kitchen and Fine Foods.
There are 27 supported employees who work there and bake a variety of different products weekly. I felt a sense of familiarity when I visited this great place. To be allowed to walk through the kitchens and photograph everyone making biscuits, baking fruit cakes and packaging products, was another reason why I love my job so much.
No matter who I spoke to there, each individual person was friendly, warm and inviting. With every question I asked I was given an answer that encouraged me to ask another. There was plenty of laughter and happiness to be shared by all. I am sure that, like every other work environment, it is not always the case, however during my visit I was honoured to be a part of it.
The pride that everyone showed while working that day shows that places like these are fantastic and there should be more of them. Society has come a long way in acknowledging people with disabilities. Whether it is organisations similar to this or simple things like wheelchair access into buildings. I speak from personal experiences when I say that too.
When you are next out and about and see someone with a disability or who may have special needs don’t look away, look them in the eye, smile and maybe even say "hi".
You just never know how it could change someone’s day and if nothing else it could change the way you look at life.
Everyday is different I am forever experiencing new things and revisiting my past. How about you?