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Clients take the wheel: New Mower Program driving innovation at TJW

22 Sep 2016

Wearing their high-visibility vests, work boots and big smiles, the first two members of The Junction Works’ Cowpastures Community Garden team today commenced a ten week training program on ride on mower safety and operations.

The Junction Works has developed the program to provide clients living with disability with the opportunity to learn about mower safety and maintenance measures, and to apply this knowledge by operating one. 

The program will cover safety training within the first five weeks for clients who have chosen to participate, including hazards, procedures and protective equipment, with operational training to follow once each participant has demonstrated understanding. 

Part of the practical training will require participants to manoeuvre the ride on mower around a course at The Junction Works’ Austral Service Centre, which has been designed for them to master both forward and reversing controls. 

Craig Mellish, Maintenance and Garden Coordinator at The Junction Works, is confident in the life-enhancing value that each participant will gain upon successfully completing the program. 

“After lots of planning it’s great to be finally running the program. The guys are enjoying it so far and there’s so much for them to take away from it. They definitely love wearing those vests,” said Craig.

“With this program we hope to establish the importance of safety measures, so that they can take this awareness and apply it to other situations. More importantly, they will be able to grow their independence and broaden their life experience through the practical skills learnt.” 

Current participants in the program are certainly enjoying being in the driver’s seat. “There’s lots to learn and remember, but it’s also fun,” said one participant.

The Ride-on Mower Program is another example of an innovative initiative established by The Junction Works to support and encourage young adults living with a disability or disadvantage.

If you would like to find out more about the Mower Program or Cowpastures Community Garden team, please contact The Junction Works via info@thejunctionworks.org or by calling 8777 0500.

You can see our short video of TJW participants in the Ride-on Mower Program by CLICKING HERE