The Spoke n Wheel opens for people living with a disability to socialise


Community Care Options in Coffs Harbour has opened a 50’s style community café, The Spoke ‘n Wheel, complete with a jukebox and life size cut out of the Fonz.

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Deb Ryan, CEO of Community Care Options (CCO), told News Of The Area the aim of the café is to fill a social participation gap for people living with disabilities.

“With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) coming out a few years ago lots of clients started getting one on one support, but there was a big gap of where people with disabilities could go to make friends with other people.

So, I wanted to create a nice social space that was welcoming for people with disabilities and then we thought about a commercial kitchen,” she said.

The idea has grown from there.

The cafe and the computer lab next door are all about capacity building for the community.

The cafe runs during the day and is a welcoming place for all the community and you don’t need to be a client of Community Care Options to participate.

“We have started with a few of our clients volunteering to get some work experience and will be offering classes on communication skills, relationships, how to apply for a job. Capacity building seems to be a gap,” Ms Ryan said.

There are plans to run a range of cooking classes, which will include budgeting, on a Monday when the cafe is shut to the public.

Ms Ryan said other plans include social occasions in the evenings such as watching the football on a Friday night.

“We will also be running computer classes in the shop opposite for older people as well. People can purchase computers and technology now through NDIS and Aged Care packages.

“So we can support people during COVID-19 and show them how to use their computers for things such as telehealth.”

CCO also welcomes other groups to use the space located at 20 Gordon St, Coffs.

“The Spoke ‘N Wheel is about anyone participating, it is not for profit and is a great reinvestment back into our community,” Ms Ryan said.


By Sandra MOON

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