Friends end isolation

The group has been a great boost to Rhett Peach and he hopes more people will attend and enjoy meetings. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d404799
The group has been a great boost to Rhett Peach and he hopes more people will attend and enjoy meetings. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d404799

Despite his cheeky sense of humour and passion for classic rock music, Mr Peach said the most difficult outcome of his accident had been social isolation.

‘I love socialising, but friends get pretty frustrated if you can’t remember that you made plans to meet up,’ he said.

‘Life can be very, very boring when you have nothing to do.

‘You can clean the house 50 times, but you tend to get sick of that after a while.’

The Neurological Council of WA runs a Youth Friends Group to support people with neurological conditions to meet, socialise and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

Group co-ordinator Tamara Demiris said the groups were about bringing people together to learn from each other and make friends. All were welcome.

‘Many people, like Rhett, feel isolated or judged in their communities and are very dependent on their family or carers.

‘Our wellness project and friends groups are about a fusion of physical, mental and emotional health. By the end of each session, most people will tell us they are feeling more empowered and confident, which is so wonderful to hear,’ Ms Demiris said.

Mr Peach said he got along with everyone and always felt comfortable attending the NCWA meetings.

‘The only thing is, I don’t think enough people know about them because we don’t have enough people going,’ he said.

‘What I would say to them is: ‘If you have a disability and you want a bit of time out, you should check out our weekly events.

‘They sure make life a little more entertaining.’