Providing inclusive, personalised and supportive programs | The Y

Providing inclusive, personalised and supportive programs for people of all abilities is a key priority for the Y (formally YMCA) who operates a number of 1:1 support programs, disability camps, social support groups and support coordination throughout Melbourne and the Greater Melbourne areas. The Profit-for-Purpose organisation which is also a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider, has worked in the Disability sector for over 30 years.

Their 1:1 support program is a crucial aspect of providing assistance and care to individuals with disabilities. It involves the provision of dedicated support and personalised attention to meet the specific needs and requirements of each person. This approach recognises that every individual has unique abilities, challenges, and aspirations, and aims to empower people to lead fulfilling lives.

“We have seen our program triple in the number of hours of support we provide our participants in the past 12 months” explains Sarah Gleeson, Y Home and Community Director. “It is important we build rapport and spend the time to get to know our participants to enable them to overcome barriers, enhance their independence, and participate fully in all aspects of their life”.

This has lead the Y to develop a number of new support programs which provide people with disability who have similar goals and interests the opportunity to actively participate in community activities together. These include organised outings to sporting events, art classes, girls pamper days, ten pin bowling and day trips to regional Victoria, just to name a few.

“We have taken the participants lead in designing support their way.” said Sarah, “Our community have told us they want to be able to have the 1:1 support of a support worker, so they could get individualised support for their needs but also wanted to be able to access community programs amongst their peers to create friendships and enjoy social experiences. Our Adventure Dayz, Ladz and Girlz Club, Saturday Youngsters and Sunday Funday allow participants this opportunity.”

The Y’s disability camps give everyone the opportunity to travel and experience active recreation at a number of adventurous camp locations across Victoria for people of all ages. They provide a unique opportunity for participants to engage in activities that cater to their specific needs and abilities whilst maximising fun. These activities are designed to build physical, emotional, and cognitive skills while accommodating individual differences.

“Y camps are just so much fun” explains Toni Thatcher, Y Camp Director. “Nearly every weekend we head off on camp to wonderful locations across Victoria. Each camp location provides different experiences and activities for the participants to enjoy and try something new. Weather that be snow camp, city camps, locations near the beach or our new Y Retreats where we visit music festivals, go glamping or even to the Grand Prix”

To enquire about Inclusion Services by the Y’s programs please call 1300 699 622 or visit