Noah’s Ark has a dedicated toy library in Kalgoorlie and we make our other wide ranging programmes available to regional and rural WA through our mobile service, postal and online services. The Kalgoorlie toy library provides toys and specialised equipment to children with special needs, their families and therapists in Kalgoorlie and surrounding areas.
The library was made possible through funding from Variety and Cliffs Natural Resources has pledged its ongoing financial support for the for next three years.
In 2008, we also established a My Time playgroup for children and young people with special needs and their families in Kalgoorlie where parents can meet and learn together about the valuable role of play in their child’s development.
In partnership with public and private therapy services, the playgroup offers parents:
Our Kalgoorlie My Time playgroups offer wide-ranging benefits:
opportunities for children, families and carers to form friendships and networks in their local community.
To complement the playgroup program, we provide information sessions for families and carers that address topics as requested by parents. The workshops help to build skills and confidence by familiarising participants with child development and the services that are available in the community to support their family.
This contributes to the development of mutually beneficial relationships that can help overcome the sense of social and physical isolation often associated with parenting a child with a disability, especially in a regional area.
Erin Bond, Allied Health Manager, Goldfields had this to say about Noah’s Ark:
“We have been working in partnership with Noah’s Ark Toy Library for almost 12 months and during this time, a variety of initiatives have been trialled and evaluated, with excellent results. Parents have been able to seek localised support from group participants. These support structures are vital in a community with a large transient population and a lack of family support. Following their participation in the playgroups, families are more able to cope with the diagnosis and feel more supported.”
Erin also said that the families and agencies involved in the program are keen for it to continue to grow and have provided firm commitments toward this.
The Allied Health Team sits within the Department of Health, WA Country Health Service, Goldfields region.
Photos of other Kalgoorlie parents to come from Linda – following comments to accompany pics as testimonials:
Kylie and her family were seriously considering leaving Kalgoorlie to move to Perth where more services are available to support her daughter. The Noah’s Ark program now means Kylie and her family can stay in Kalgoorlie.
“Noah’s Ark provides a great opportunity for my daughter Ellie  to be around other children with special needs. To be in an environment where there is much more understanding about Ellie’s behaviour, and that has support and services available, has been fantastic.”
Jo is also grateful for Noah’s Ark’s support. Her four-year-old daughter Megan has been diagnosed with autism and her older son Daniel (19) also has the condition. Jo says:
“We are quite isolated in terms of family support in Kalgoorlie, so having the support and networks associated with Noah’s Ark is a huge benefit.”
Jo said Noah’s Ark was a major help to her with therapy, information about specialists and the toys specially modified for children with special needs.
Leona’s son Josh now takes part in craft activities with other children. He makes his own morning tea and enjoys doing things other young children do. She says he is also learning how to share.