The Bridge News

How to make the NDIS work for you

Message from our CEO Mary-Jane Stolp

Hi everyone,

Despite the winter chill, there is a high level of energy and enthusiasm across The Bridge with the commencement of new staff and volunteers as our services grow.

Following lockdown number 5 we again thank our staff and volunteers and the participants and families we support for remaining vigilant in preventing the spread of Covid. We’ve been so pleased to see the uptake of the Covid vaccination across The Bridge community and urge you to get vaccinated as soon as you can.

Once again, our funding applications to Jobs Victoria and Casey Council have been successful, enabling us to continue the good work we have been doing across our Employment Services to support youth, those from a CALD background or experiencing disadvantage and long term unemployed. To hear our good news stories please visit our social media pages; Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn or Latest News on our website.

The Bridge is strongly committed to elevating the voice of people we support, and we continue to advocate to government on issues that impact the sector and people with disability, through our CEO and other external networks and our peak body National Disability Services. The aim of this work is to highlight the challenges faced by people with disability in navigating this new system of assessments, and our recommendations on how that experience might be improved. We note at the time of writing that planned NDIS Independent Assessments have been put on hold. We will continue to discuss this with our Community Voice Advisory Group, who meet monthly, and keep you informed of any changes.

We’ve been working hard to strengthen all services, based on feedback we receive, to ensure we provide the best possible services to our community into the future. We hope to launch our newest online service in September which will provide further opportunities for all people we support, around skill development and independence, health and wellbeing and social connection. These services will be available at a range of different times and days based on uptake. For a copy of the activities schedule please contact enquiries@thebridgeinc.org.au.

Our property development at Park Grove (formerly Callander Rd), Noble Park is going well, and we are halfway through Stage B with many houses already being sold. We are also continuing to expand our services at our newest site, Athol Rd, Springvale South, as well as services in the Officer / Pakenham area, to meet demand. Having continued our essential services throughout Covid we are excited about the future and progressing our mission to transform people’s lives.

As many of you will be aware, Phillip Toovey recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of The Bridge, after over 30 years of wonderful service. At his farewell he said ‘Reflecting on the time I’ve spent with The Bridge…it has been my good fortune and privilege to lead and work with many great people who wanted to genuinely contribute to the organisation succeeding with its purpose. I will never forget the many participants and families that I have come to know over the journey and will take many wonderful memories with me. I wish the Board, CEO Mary-Jane Stolp, the staff and everyone involved with The Bridge, prosperity and success.’

If you’d like us to provide an update on any other items in future editions, please email us via info@thebridgeinc.org.au

Read more

Phillip Toovey, Mary-Jane Stolp – CEO and Jim Hall – President

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Exploring our local community

Feedback from participants and families

Proudly Vaccinated

We celebrated Volunteer Week with the City of Greater Dandenong’s Mayor, Cr Angela Long. This was a dual celebration because we were joined by The Bridge’s new CEO, Mary-Jane Stolp.

L to R - The Bridge CEO Mary-Jane Stolp, Coordinator of Volunteers Margaret Campion, City of Greater Dandenong Mayor, Cr Angela Long, volunteers Mangala and Ian

Celebrating Volunteer Week

The Bridge Works

Jobs Victoria Advocates

Ahmad – Job Advocate

Terry – Job Advocate

The Bridge Employment Works

The Bridge Employment Works

Disability Employment Services