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Young woman creates memories for people with disabilities by giving them ‘normal teen experiences’

Bronte Hendricks created Stellar Experiences to broaden the horizons of young people with disabilities

A support worker is inviting young people with disabilities to sporting events and music festivals to give them a taste of ‘normal teenage experiences’.

Bronte Hendricks, from the NSW south coast, launched Stellar Experiences this year to create recreational and travel opportunities for young adults aged 16-35 with mild to moderate disabilities.

On Saturday, the 23-year-old and two other support workers attended Grapevine Gathering Music Festival in the Hunter Valley with seven people with disabilities.

The 10-strong group quickly became mini celebrities at the event – with people stopping them for photos and to applaud them for having such a great time. 

Ms Hendricks told Daily Mail Australia taking seven clients to Grapevine was a ‘calculated risk’ which paid off.

‘Every single guest expressed that it was one of the best days of their lives,’ she said.  

She said other revellers were so supportive and wanted to give the group the best festival experience possible.

Bronte (pictured with one of her clients) attended Grapevine festival with a bunch of her friends, seven of which have mild to moderate intellectual disabilities

Bronte (pictured with one of her clients) attended Grapevine festival with a bunch of her friends, seven of which have mild to moderate intellectual disabilities

Those involved all wore matching t-shirts

Everyone told Ms Hendricks they had 'the best day' out

Ms Hendricks told Daily Mail Australia each member of her group felt included and enjoyed themselves

‘Every single person was so accepting and made our group feel included. They were going on random people’s shoulders, dancing, making friends,’ she said. 

‘It was everything I could have asked for and more… It honestly made them feel so special, it was a night they will never forget.’

Who Can Participate in Stellar Experiences? 

Stellar Experiences is currently not an NDIS registered provider, but is accessible to any young Australian with a mild to moderate disability who is Self or Plan Managed.

The organisation is mainly aimed at people aged 16-35 who want to meet new people, socialise and try new activities.

It is currently based in New South Wales, and the carers are all young, fun and want to develop friendships with their clients.

Some activities the group have recently participated in include a music festival, aqua golf, NRL games and a trip to the Hunter Valley. 

Ms Hendricks and her business partner, 31-year-old Luke Muttdon, launched the company after working in the disability sector together for years.

‘We were frustrated at the lack of opportunity there was for young people with disabilities,’ she said.

Both felt passionate about creating a more inclusive option for people with disabilities who were out on day programs, wanting them to partake in normal teenage experiences like going to music festivals and trips away.

‘We just wanted to give them the opportunity to pursue their passions and interests,’ she said.

All seven guests – as well as the three ‘carers’ – were interested in music and were excited to go to the festival.

Ms Hendricks said it’s so important for her that both she and the two other workers are a similar age to the group who attended, because they were more like a group of friends enjoying themselves than an employee/client relationship.

‘We try to have fun, young staff so it looks and feels more like just a group of friends hanging out and having fun, which it was,’ she said.

Ms Hendricks' business also encourages people with disabilities to explore their interests and passions

Ms Hendricks’ business also encourages people with disabilities to explore their interests and passions

The group all wore matching t-shirts so they could be easily identified throughout the day

The group all wore matching t-shirts so they could be easily identified throughout the day

The business owner said young people with disabilities see their siblings, school friends and colleagues going out and trying new things, and that there should be more access for them to do the same.

‘We want to provide endless opportunities for these young adults to have fun, develop friendships & live any kind of life they choose.’

The experience, she said, was a positive risk for all involved but definitely paid off, and Stellar Experiences would continue to go to music festivals across the state. 

The organisation is currently not an NDIS registered provider, but anybody who is Self or Plan Managed can access the services.    

‘We are strong believers of positive risk and want to challenge these attitudes and beliefs to prove not only to society but to our guests themselves that they are able and should have access to everything they want in life,’ Ms Hendricks said.

Ms Hendricks said other revellers were 'super accommodating and kind'  and even let some of her clients dance on their shoulders

Ms Hendricks said other revellers were ‘super accommodating and kind’  and even let some of her clients dance on their shoulders

Stellar Experiences will 'definitely' be heading to more music festivals this season because of how successful the first one was

Stellar Experiences will ‘definitely’ be heading to more music festivals this season because of how successful the first one was

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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