Reach Social Supports was founded in 2020 to address a growing absence in the disability sector of high-quality community focused supports in the Gippsland region. The disabled community were concerned that the diminishing focus on more affordable care services was leaving the region in need of essential mental health care supports.
To meet this challenge, Reach listened to the needs of the Gippsland NDIS stakeholders to build an innovative service that directly addressed the needs of NDIS participants and took advantage of the natural talent for empathy and support that the local care-force possesses. And together, we built a community.
Hailing from the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, Reach was founded at a time when several large NDIS providers scaling down their operations or withdrawing from the region entirely (our banker thought we were mad!).
We converted a former art gallery in the back streets of Morwell into a bustling social centre where we now host everything from cooking classes, music groups, dance sessions, games, concerts, workshops and more.
Pioneering flexibility innovations such as the ability for clients to swap group activity days without having to make a short a notice cancellation if life throws up barriers to attending, and our ‘no out of pocket expenses guarantee’ to ensure the level of care and engagement is not dependent on a person’s private wealth, quickly saw Reach grow into a powerful force for improving life outcomes for all our clients.
In addition to offering NDIS supports, we also launched our NDIS Access Support program which helps people who are entitled to become NDIS participants get access to the scheme with a funding plan that suits their needs. This free service of consultation and application management has helped countless people receive the benefits of NDIS membership who would have otherwise been excluded due the complexity of the process. We are very proud of this successful offering as a matter of equity for the community.
If a person is eligible to receive disability support via the NDIS, it is immoral that they are excluded because they cannot complete the application process by themselves. This service says a lot about the character of Reach as an organisation, and our commitment to serving the disabled community where they need it most.
We have developed our organisation in the most organic way possible; by treating our people, as well, people! We are not in the business of assessing disability – we are in the business of facilitating ‘people’ to participate in a community. Being healthy is so much more than washing your hands and taking the right medications. It requires achieving that innate human need for family, friendship and social validation. At Reach, that is what we offer. That is why so many NDIS participants choose to use their funding with us. This reputation spreading through the community is how we have become the preeminent NDIS provider of social supports in the region.
We are incredibly proud of the community, skill building and social support we have been able to provide to the disabled community of Gippsland. In addition to our organisation continuing to grow, most importantly it has been effective at achieving its core mission of partnering with people who live with challenges to their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing to help them achieve their life goals.
We believe in the power of community, inclusion, respect, and flexibility to create real and lasting positive health outcomes for clients.