Stories of Inspiration
Who is Katalin?
Katalin is a very bright and happy woman with an infectious laugh. She likes to joke around and create nicknames for people. Katalin has a love of animals and enjoys going horse riding every fortnight with Riding for the Disabled. She also has her own budgerigar who keeps her company at home. At times, Katalin can become quite anxious, which has made it difficult for her to find her place in the community. Prior to the following story, Katalin had not engaged in meaningful work for ten years.
Finding the right job for Katalin – Katalin and her supporter’s light bulb moment
Katalin’s workers at Community Living Program (CLP) spent many years trying to help Katalin find a role that suited her. After spending some time thinking about Katalin’s gifts, interests, and abilities, they came up with the idea of working with animals at the vet clinic. After discussing this with Katalin, they approached the vet on Katalin’s behalf to see if there was a possibility of creating a role for her, and the vet agreed to give Katalin a position. Katalin decided to give the role a go and see if she liked it. It took a long time for Katalin to find a role that suited her. When Katalin first started working at the vet clinic, she was unsure if she liked it, but, after a while, she began to really enjoy her work with the animals and, since then, she has developed some very strong and positive relationships with the staff at the clinic.
For the past two years, Katalin has been volunteering at the vet clinic. Her role is to play with the animals in order to comfort them and calm them down while they are recovering from and preparing for treatment. Katalin spends most of her time comforting the cats and kittens that come to the clinic, but she has interacted with dogs and chickens as well. When she first started, she was nervous and was provided with on the job support from her worker at Community Living Program (CLP).
Her work is important to her, and she believes that she helps the animals to calm down and feel comforted. When Katalin was asked how she knows that she has successfully comforted the animals, she said, “because they go to sleep; because I’ve worn them out.”The vet’s husband, Sam, who works at the clinic, commented, ‘she used to be very anxious, but now she walks in like she owns the place!”