5 Benefits of Group Programs

Social inclusion is a topic that concerns us all – living with a disability, or not. We all strive to live independently, with a socially active lifestyle.

Many people living with a disability (and their carers) struggle with social inclusion, especially in times of COVID-19. A disability can often be debilitating when interacting out and about in society. This can lead to social exclusion and feelings of loneliness. However, many life and social skills are attainable if you know where to start. Group Programs can be a great way of making social connections with like-minded individuals. They are a place for learning practical and social skills in a fun and safe environment.

In this article, we will take a closer look at how participating in Group Activity Programs can contribute to you or your loved one’s skills, social life and independence.

 

1. Boost Self-Confidence And Personality Development

Group Programs provide a safe environment, a “judgement-free-zone”. Participants can explore their interests and expand on or learn new skills while forming social connections. Participants can experience the joy of completing a project by using the knowledge gained in the training sessions. Learning these new skills can lead to a feeling of pride and accomplishment, which in itself can lead to a boost in self-confidence.  Group Programs can also contribute to personality development – participants have the opportunity to explore different areas of interest and might even discover a new talent!

2. Prepare For More Independent Living

An undeniable benefit of Group Programs are the skills participants learn to better manage their day-to-day life. These skills include practical abilities such as meal preparation, managing finances/budgeting, and using public transport. But they also include interaction out in the community, for instance ordering in a cafe or asking for directions. Learning these skills empowers participants to become more included in society, especially within their local community. For many participants the ability to perform daily living tasks independently is a great boost in confidence. This often leads to more independent action in the home environment, too.

3. Increase Employability

Working empowers us to contribute to society, be more independent and afford participating in activities and outings – whether that be hobbies, sports or community activities. It is an important part of starting a more independent adult life.

Our Group Programs are designed to teach both communication and practical workplace skills such as writing resumes, handling money, budgeting, customer service, basic administration tasks, and more. Practising these skills in a fun and social environment can prepare the participants for future work environments.  Furthermore, while interacting with other participants, community members and tutors during the Group Activities, participants learn how to communicate and work in a team environment.

Being prepared and knowing what to expect in the process of seeking and finding employment will give the participants more confidence and hence increase their employability and success in the workplace.

4. Group Programs Teach New Skills

Group Programs are a great, fun and social place to learn new skills. By providing the space to try out new things, participants can learn how to perform new tasks and develop new skills. These skills can range from hands-on skills to more interpersonal ones (see below for communication skills). Let’s take cooking as an example – participating in a cooking class teaches participants how to budget finances, how to interact in a supermarket setting, how to follow a procedure in a recipe. These skills are highly transferable to every-day life and teach participants a range of new skills that can greatly increase their independence in the long-term.

5. Group Programs Improve Communication Skills

Communication skills are vital in order to build relationships, and faced with diversity they can be difficult to develop. But without developing the skills to successfully communicate and hence build lasting relationships, life can be lonely. One of the benefits of Group Programs is the development of social skills, such as communication, in a group setting.

Group Programs can support the development of understanding the concept of communication. This includes showing interest in others by asking questions, actively listening to other group members, and acknowledging someone else’s opinion or response in a conversation. Perhaps the hardest communication skill to develop, body language, is a vital part in communication. Group Programs provide a guided platform in which the participant can learn to interpret non-verbal communication.

Learning the skills associated with effective communication can be difficult for anyone. Participating in Group Programs and learning in a safe and fun environment is a great way of learning these skills.

Our Airstream Cafe – Available for Hospitality Training

Interested in participating in Group Programs?

Our Summa Care team offers a variety of Group Activities and Programs, both educational and social. From learning how a rental process works, to using public transport, to learning how to cook and work in a team, to learning job and employment skills – we offer a variety of programs that can benefit our community. Find out more about Group Programs offered by Summa Care on our website – click here for our Group Programs Page. If you have any questions or would like to register for our Group Programs, please contact 1800 224 362 or email hello@summacare.com.au.

We can’t wait to show you the benefits of participating in our Group Programs for you and your loved ones!