LIVING with a disability doesn't just affect the person themselves, it affects the people around them.
Vivability, a provider of services to people with a disability in the region, has created a safe space for siblings and carers to share their experiences and support one another during tough times.
The Support Matters group was initiated by two Vivability employees who had attended a similar event when they were younger.
Behaviour support practitioner and wellbeing coach Anthony Hayes said both carers grew up with disabled siblings and benefited greatly from the support group.
"They found it really, really valuable, so they're trying to get it started to support people like themselves who would receive some value out of it," he said.
"We thought it would be such a good idea, particularly through COVID; it provides a space for people to reach out.
"It's open to anyone that has contact with a person with a disability or needs some ideas around it."
The first Support Matters session will be held online on September 16 due to lockdown and is open to anyone, whether they are members of Vivability or not.
Mr Hayes hopes to have the group meet in person as soon as COVID regulations allow, either on a monthly or fortnightly basis depending on the demand.
The goal is to create a safe, judgment-free environment for two hours with refreshments provided.
"It's going to be a good space to talk about what's happening and how they're feeling," he said.
"It could be a support group for anyone at this stage; we're obviously targeting siblings, but some people, if they wanted to reach out, it's a great space for that too," he said.
Mr Hayes hopes the sessions create a community of people who feed off one another to develop strategies of care and provide advice, suggestions and encouragement.
The first meeting will begin at 6pm and focus on the environment Vivability wants to create within the support group and a rundown of how future meetings will function.
If you are interested in attending the support session, head to: https://zoom.us/j/97362713643?pwd=T1loSlVYem10SGIvQWZ4eW5jNC83UT09