By Ellen Maher
My job is very important to me. I really enjoy the time I spend with my work colleagues, and interacting with them. I have met some really nice people, and the staff are very welcoming. They treat me like any other work colleague, and I love being part of the Coates family. I feel very supported by Job Support and my Coates supervisor. It is nice to travel to work by myself each day, and to have a life outside of my family.
Earning money makes a big difference to what I can do in my life, so it is important to me. It means I can save towards my long-term goal of moving out of home. I love my family, but I want to live independently. I love to travel overseas, and am saving to visit my cousins in America and Canada when travel is possible again.
I can also afford to travel to compete in gymnastics, sometimes overseas or in other states of Australia. I pay for my gymnastics classes and team uniforms. I can also afford to have dance classes.
Having money to go out with my friends is great! Most importantly, I can travel to see my boyfriend, who lives a long way away.
I also pay board to my family each week, to contribute towards the costs in the house (eg. food, electricity), just like my sister does.
For others with Down syndrome, I encourage you to work if possible. Earning money makes me feel really good and helps me feel grown-up and more independent. Being able to save helps me look forward in my life. I would not like being home all day. It is very important to me that my mum helps me with my money, and I know I couldn’t manage it as well without support.
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