When I was first contacted about presenting at a local organisation’s annual luncheon my first thought was “But! I’m not ready!”
Ironically, I was considering attending a speaking intensive that was set to begin that day. Although I’d sung in front of 8 thousand people and spoke to groups of 20 people or more on a regular basis in my job… well, let’s face it, this was different. Being accountable for the flow of an entire afternoon for a celebratory event is a pretty big responsibility. Was I going to be out of my depth?
After reading through the RISE Network website, I changed my mind.
Because, although no one there knew me, I admired them all. I was 100% in.
The RISE Network services provide for youth, aged care, people with a disability, mental health and carers in the Shires of Kalamunda, Swan and Mundaring and beyond. RISE has humble beginnings since its inception in 1983 after a meeting of the Swan community to discuss the needs for support services. The organisation has transformed from the original HCSG (Hills Community Support Group) to an organisation employing 360 staff, 120 volunteers, 225 support members in the community and, most importantly, 2000 clients who receive their invaluable services. Now, they focus on building communities – “of our elderly, people with a disability, those with mental health issues, youth at risk, and care givers. We are becoming much more user friendly, helping you work out how we can support you in what you want to achieve. The focus is no longer on what programs we run, but rather on what you want to do.” – RISE Network website.
The statistics are heartening and you can read much more on their website.
However, what’s most exceptional about this organisation is their people.
(Here’s a #teamcrispycrow tip; if you are ever nervous about tackling something new for the first time, do it in front of people who work in human services. When I found myself a bit nervy speaking about my own journey a quick glance at the audience was enough to settle the tension. There’s nothing like a room full of 100 people all with encouraging half-smiles on their faces. They’re the kind of people you’d want on your side in a challenge. And they’re fun.)
RISE’s Social Club organised the event including a delicious lunch, chocolate mousse to die for and a lively quiz. With the majestic Midland Town Hall as the backdrop and the setting perfectly purple, the scene was set for a day of merriment. Although there was competition, prizes and chasing a staff member around to win champagne, I was touched that every staff member I chatted to not only spoke about their families but also the people they worked with. It seems that if you are a staff member of RISE, your clients are always close to your heart.
Knowledgeable, experienced and beyond clever with her multi proficiencies, Social Club member Jennifer mentioned that even though RISE has been part our community for over 30 years providing care, support, employment and leadership, some Hills and Midland public still don’t realise they exist. RISE actively encourages the community to read through their website and gauge whether they offer a service that may be able to support someone in your family. They also connect to the community via Facebook here.
I hope the staff in attendance really enjoyed their day (including Table 13 who COMPLETELY believed they had that quiz in the BAG before Table 11 pipped them at the post with the bonus round questions!)
I’m a very big fan.
Jay Crisp Crow
Yep, really my name