Helen Lowndes, a retained firefighter at Casino fire station, will appear in a TV program that highlights people who have part-time work and also work for disability services. cathy adams
Helen Lowndes, a retained firefighter at Casino fire station, will appear in a TV program that highlights people who have part-time work and also work for disability services. cathy adams

Helping people leads to TV role

WHETHER it’s fighting fires, helping people with a disability get their driving licence, or teaching community programs, Helen Lowndes’ typical day is always changing and never boring.

The Casino resident’s busy, community-oriented lifestyle is what landed her in the National Disability Service’s nationwide television campaign, representing exactly what the organisation is looking for.

Ms Lowndes works as a retained firefighter (part-time, on call) and part-time as a support worker at non-profit disability services group On-Focus, in Lismore.

Also a mother of two, Ms Lowndes handles her two-job juggling act well and sets a perfect example for other potential disability service workers.

“The commercial aims to promote awareness that people with part-time jobs and spare time can also work with disability agencies,” Ms Lowndes said.

“It can be demanding working both jobs but it is very rewarding.

“You get to take a look at yourself, not take things for granted and I have learnt a lot of patience.

“The simple things in life like catching a bus are taken for granted and I have learnt to appreciate these things.”

The 35-year-old has been a firefighter for 13 years and started working at On-Focus 12 months ago where she helps 12 clients – aged 17 to 50-plus – with a disability achieve their personal goals.

These goals include using pub-lic transport independently and seeking employment and are intertwined with trips to the movies and games of tenpin bowling.

Ms Lowndes remembers one personal achievement in particular.

“I just recently helped a client gain his driver’s licence and help him achieve a personal goal,” she said.

“Just helping him study and learn the road rules and then taking him to sit the test to see him pass was very rewarding for me.”

The program, featuring Ms Lowndes, will air tomorrow at 4.30pm on Channel 10.



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