3rd Dec '20

Sustainable living helps house mates live better

Long term housemates and LiveBetter customers Brenton Howard and Jordan Samuelson’s daily routine has become a little more “paddock to plate”, following their move to a new home with a big garden in Wagga.

LiveBetter had been on the lookout for a home that would give these two young men better opportunities that aligned with their NDIS goals. Both men wanted to participate more in outdoor leisure and activities which would stimulate and encourage their fitness levels and therefore their health.

A couple of months ago the right house came up, allowing Brenton and Jordan to work in their herb and veggie garden, learn more about living sustainability and where food comes from, make good use of their new cricket set and start walking daily on the path behind the house.

In some ways the advent of COVID-19 made this sustainable way of living for the men easier, given the group and community activities provided by LiveBetter were paused for a while in line with health guidelines to keep customers and staff safe and well.

This also gave Disability Program Co-ordinator, Cindy Dawson, and LiveBetter some time to look at different ways to engage with our customers.

Brenton tending to his garden


“We looked at their individual NDIS goals and developed activities that were of particular interest to them that would suit their needs. We also went back to the basics of how people used to live and grow their food and we wanted to do this for our customers,” said Ms Dawson.

“Brenton and Jordan planted the seedlings into the raised garden beds not long after moving in and now use their products for the cooking they do. There is no greater feeling than the sense of achievement you derive when you plant something, watch it grow, then cook it and eat it. Both men get great enjoyment out of this.

“Sustainable living is such a feel-good thing and sometimes it takes a while to leave behind our commercially driven habits to adopt a more soulful approach to life, but when the penny drops it delivers a sense of wellbeing that is priceless.”

LiveBetter is looking to replicate this successful sustainable living model across all its 10 accommodation homes in Wagga Wagga.

LiveBetter is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to giving people access to support in their chosen community, currently operating more than 50 centres (preschools, offices, houses, respite centres) in 50 towns across regional Eastern Australia. With over 1,900 local staff and volunteers connecting with 10,000 customers annually, LiveBetter delivers services and provides community development to make local communities resilient.

For further information about LiveBetter services, please call 1800 580 580, search livebetter.org.au or visit your local LiveBetter centre.