Chesney Bailey is a whole new person thanks to NDIS

MORE INDEPENDENT: When Chesney Bailey's parents went on a holiday to New Zealand for the first time in 30 years, he had never experienced independent living. Now in his own place, he hasn't looked back since. Photo: Submitted

MORE INDEPENDENT: When Chesney Bailey's parents went on a holiday to New Zealand for the first time in 30 years, he had never experienced independent living. Now in his own place, he hasn't looked back since. Photo: Submitted

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago.

Chesney, who grew up in Alectown on his parent's farm, has an intellectual disability and autism, and Ross said life before the NDIS was difficult.

"We didn't have a lot of funding or support," he said.

"I used to spend hours in the car, driving 200 kilometres a day, two days a week, to get Chesney to his after-school work at the biscuit factory [in Forbes]."

Then they met their Local Area Coordinator, Tracey, from Social Futures, and things began to get easier.

Chesney's NDIS plan included transport funding. It meant he could catch a taxi to Parkes, halving his dad's travel time, but Ross and Sandy were becoming concerned about Chesney's future.

He had lived with them on the farm all his life, and they knew they weren't going to be around to take care of him forever.

A big change came though, when Ross and Sandy took off to New Zealand for their first holiday alone in 30 years.

"Chesney received NDIS funding for respite care for the two weeks we were away. He stayed in a little apartment, in Forbes, with regular contact from support workers, and discovered independence," Ross said.

"He did whatever he wanted for two whole weeks while we were in New Zealand and he's been badgering me to move out on his own ever since!"

The move to his own home happened a month ago and Chesney hasn't looked back.

"He is a five-minute walk to his workplace. He gets himself off to work each day, and it's only a short bike ride to his older sister's house," Ross said.

"I went to see Chesney last weekend. At 10am, he was lounging around in his pyjamas, eating pancakes he'd made himself for breakfast.

"He goes out on Thursdays with two of his friends from the biscuit factory and comes home to see us every second weekend.

"Chesney now has access to a range of activities. He has more choice over what he wants to do and how he wants to spend his time than he has ever had before."

Once a week, Chesney joins a support group and goes to Orange or Dubbo where he visits the library, gym and pool.

"If you saw Chesney two years ago, he was a very different person. He actually says hello to people now, he smiles and has confidence. He has independence now and things to do with his time," Ross said.

"He just wouldn't have been able to do this before. Nowadays he has support funding for someone to come and visit him every day, to help him write a shopping list of what he wants to eat for the week, and to make sure he isn't cooking himself fish and chips every night!

"Being unwell myself, the knowledge he will have ongoing lifelong support from the NDIS if he needs it, is a great relief.

"Everything is working really well. I've never had trouble or difficulty getting everything we've needed."

This Thursday is the International Day for People with a Disability, and as a way to celebrate Social Futures wanted to share Chesney's story.

Social Futures delivers Local Area Coordination services for the NDIS across more than 50 per cent of NSW.

To talk to a Local Area Coordinator, people can email lac@socialfutures.org.au or call the LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 (Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm).

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This story Out on his own: Chesney a whole new person thanks to NDIS first appeared on Parkes Champion-Post.