News, resources and service info from Muddy Puddles
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June/July 2020


Looking on the bright side

Thank you to all those people in our community who took the opportunity during these challenging times to show kindness, compassion and support to others. Difficult situations can often bring out the best in people and although we've had a shocking start to 2020, we've also learned new ways of communicating and relating to each other. We've had time to reflect on what we value in life, and have perhaps made positive changes in our lives as a result of recent events. 

During the last few months at Muddy Puddles we've successfully supported clients using telepractice. The team and many of our clients have embraced technology as a valid method of service delivery. Our team understand the potential impacts that isolation may have on mental health and have been able to provide reassurance and practical solutions to help families through this time. We will continue to use video conferencing and video content as part of our service offering for those clients that wish to use it. 

There is plenty of evidence to show that telepractice (this includes use of videoconference, video content, phone and email support) can be just as effective as in-person support. For younger children, telepractice encourages a family-centred approach and is most effective when the therapist adopts a coaching role to upskill parents to implement a therapy plan. 

Telepractice also provided opportunities for our students on remote placement to provide support to our clients. The young client pictured below had a great time with an OT student and was engaged for the entire session.


As restrictions ease we are supporting more clients in person. Therapists are returning to school and home visits and families are also receiving services at our centre. Group programs are continuing online for the rest of this term but we expect they will resume face to face in Term 3.

Staying well

As our community starts interacting more, it is important that we adhere to Government guidelines for staying safe and well.

What we are doing to stop the spread of COVID-19:
- team members who are sick are asked to stay away from work and if displaying symptoms of COVID-19, they are expected to get tested
- hand washing or sanitising before and after supporting clients
- avoid touching face
- physical distancing where possible
- regular cleaning of centre and equipment

What clients and visitors can do:
- do not attend face to face appointments if sick (clients can discuss alternative support activities with their therapist if they can't attend in person)
- wash or sanitise hands before an appointment
- get a COVID-19 test if you are displaying symptoms and stay home until you are cleared


July holiday programs

The school holidays are fast approaching and our team are excited to offer face to face group programs once again. There will be skill building groups for all ages with something for everyone - fitness, fun and making friends.

We will be sending more information to our clients and enrolments can be made via our website from next week. 

Online group programs 

During Term 2 we have enjoyed bringing our group programs to our clients online. You may have seen our Facebook posts promoting online programs. In case you missed them, check out our videos on the Muddy Puddles YouTube channel - even better, become a Subscriber. 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all our videos

MyTime Morning Tea - free support group for parents and carers

Come together and connect with other families of children with a disability or developmental delay. This is an opportunity to share knowledge and ask questions about support strategies, resources and local information in a relaxed atmosphere. Our MyTime Morning Tea will be co-facilitated by Ness Shannon, a positive behaviour support specialist who uses art as a therapeutic tool to reach positive outcomes for children and parents or carers.

When:  10.30 - 11.30am, Thursday 18 June
Where: Muddy Puddles, 1a Melaleuca Crescent Catalina
via Zoom link

Please let us know if you would like to join us in person as we have a maximum limit on numbers in the space we are using. If you require child care during this time, please let us know at least one day in advance.

Home therapy kits delivered

During isolation, we delivered over 40 customised therapy kits to help families support their children. Carly, one of our OT students (who is now qualified and a permanent member of our team) did an amazing job sourcing all sorts of fun resources to be used by families while they focused on therapy at home.

Carly found sensory items, games, art supplies, activities for fine and gross motor skills and communication resources to make staying at home a little bit easier. As you can imagine, our clients were very happy with the deliveries. The Mum of one little bloke, said "whoever thought of this, they're awesome. This will keep him occupied, for a while anyway".

Carly was one of six OT students from University of Canberra on placement with us during April and May. The other five students worked remotely to deliver some great projects that will benefit Muddy Puddles. We currently have another six OT students from University of Canberra for an 8 week placement.
Watch the 2020 Raffle Draw as seen on Facebook livestream
On Sunday 5 April we hosted the draw of our major raffle - live streamed on Facebook. In front of the camera were Cate McMath (Muddy Puddles CEO), and Ian Aitken (RFS Captain Batemans Bay). We faced some very challenging conditions with bushfires and COVID-19 threatening to derail our fundraising efforts, but thanks to our amazing volunteers, staff and their networks, we sold all the tickets. Although it meant we didn't raise as much for Muddy Puddles as predicted, donating 50% of profits to local RFS brigades was certainly the right thing to do. This money will go to the Eurobodalla training facility to benefit all brigades in our Shire.

A big thanks to the local businesses who donated prizes, and congratulations to the winners:

1st prize: Jean Fuldon
2nd prize: Merrilyn Chilvers
3rd prize: Pam Humphries
4th prize: John Ockenden

Congratulations Bernie!

Congratulations to Bernard Basevi on being a recipient of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Bernie has received this prestigious award, The Order of Australia Medal, for his many years of voluntary services to the Eurobodalla community.

His contributions have been numerous to many organisations such as the aptly named St Bernard's Church and School, Malua Bay Bowling Club, Red Rose House (raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis) and of course Muddy Puddles. We are very privileged to have had Bernie join the team three years ago as a valuable board member and advocate for Muddy Puddles. His knowledge, commitment and passion for improving services in the community is renowned.

Bernie was instrumental in the planning and building of our custom designed facility as well as very generously providing his services as project manager during this time. Although the building is now complete Bernie, in addition to his role on the Board of directors, continues to undertake any maintenance requirements. A simple thank you does not seem sufficient, but please be assured that you are greatly appreciated.

New team members

We recently welcomed two new practitioners to the team. Jess Bottomley, Speech Pathologist, and Carly Tunnecliffe, Occupational Therapist. Jess has moved to the area from Canberra and Carly is a local with excellent experience as a teacher before moving into Occupational Therapy. With the addition of these two therapists, we have increased our capacity to take on new clients and provide a more comprehensive service to existing clients. 

Our support team has also grown, with several new additions to provide therapy assistance and personal and community support. Kate Holder is our Team Leader coordinating this service. Kate is studying a Master of Speech Pathology and also provides therapy support and coaching for our clients.

Goodbye Noel

We received some sad news last month. One of our lovely Volunteers, Noel Maguire, passed away peacefully on Mother's Day. 
Noel joined Muddy Puddles in 2017 and was an enthusiastic advocate for children with a disability. She was a regular attendee at our Volunteer meetings and was always happy to put her hand up for fundraising activities. Noel had a great sense of humour and a warmth and friendliness that brightened any room she entered. We often joked with her about being the oldest Volunteer on the Team, and at 82 years, she had more energy than many younger than her.
Noel was surrounded by loving friends and family. A long time resident of Batemans Bay, she had her children close by and had the joy of watching grandchildren and great grandchildren grow. Noel had not been ill so her passing was unexpected. We know that she will be missed by many. 

Journey of Hope

Muddy Puddles is partnering with Save the Children to offer a free online workshop supporting parents, caregivers and teachers of children affected by the dual impacts of the bushfires and COVID-19.

The sessions will be hosted at Muddy Puddles after hours with refreshments and free childcare provided. 

Please contact the office for further information or to register your interest. 

More information

COVID-19 Testing Clinics

Free testing is available at various locations in the Eurobodalla.

Click on the link to view locations and times, or contact the Southern NDS helpline on 1800 99 880 to book a test.
Muddy Puddles is a registered NDIS provider.
Please contact us on 4472 6939 to discuss how we can help you implement your NDIS plan.
Copyright © 2020 Muddy Puddles, All rights reserved.

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