Mike’s – Staff Update

Mike’s – Staff Update

My name is Mike, and after starting at AJ’s in January I have now been there a little over 8 months – how time flies! As Lynne started a week before me, I am technically the newest staff member, though thankfully Jimmy K still calls Jacob the “newboy”.

Being a fairly quiet and introverted person by nature, my first few months at AJ’s were a bit of a culture shock with the noise and busyness of the workroom, but I feel like I am getting used to this and I certainly really enjoy the contact with the clients. The workroom has been ticking along well of late, with several large contracts recently completed, including a large Christmas cards contract and the Starters and Strategies magazine contract. I love how the workroom provides a number of different tasks for people at a variety of different levels and abilities.

With various staff away over the last few months I’ve filled in for most groups and outings, and really enjoy this part of the job. Being more elderly than most of the staff I have picked up the “Wise Guys” group (or as some of the staff call it the “pensioners group”), which I am really enjoying. This comprises 3 older clients and we go out on a Friday afternoon once a fortnight, alternating a visit to the Penny Lane record shop with a visit to one of the malls for a look around and then afternoon tea. It’s a great way to finish the week. I have also picked up a Climbing group on Tuesday afternoons, for a while co-working with Bronte but more recently on my own. Having never done any climbing before this has been a good learning experience for me. I have really enjoyed watching the clients get more confident and a bit higher up the wall each week, and I’m sure this increased confidence generalises to other aspects of their lives.

After filling in for Margaret’s gardening group while she was away, I have now taken this on every second Friday morning, alternating with Margaret. Again, having very little gardening skill or knowledge I have had to learn as I go, but for the most-part I’m enjoying it.

I do a weekly FOCUS session with Harley B on Wednesday afternoon. We often go for a walk and visit local op-shops for a look around, but other activities have included doing a rubbish pickup in the local area, and going for a Lime scooter ride. I enjoy getting out and about and chatting with Harley one-to-one.

I also regularly support the Polybat (winter) and T-ball (summer) groups on Thursday afternoons. This is a large group of usually 10 clients, with 3 staff. The clients seem to really love these activities and there is always lots of banter and laughs!

Well, it’s now almost mid spring, and it’s hard to believe we are starting to talk about Christmas already! That’s all from me, thanks for reading.

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