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Broadford’s Rennie receives support to live her best life

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

With a multitude of support behind her, Renata ‘Rennie’ Hobbs feels like a different woman from who she was 12 months ago.

Ms Hobbs is a National Disability Insurance Scheme, NDIS, participant with multiple physical and cognitive disabilities including bipolar disorders and tremors.

After her mother Sharon died from pancreatic cancer in 2022, Ms Hobbs lost not only her mother but best friend and carer.

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“I saw a grief counsellor and she couldn’t get me out of the house or to try new things because I was too anxious and I didn’t have the confidence,” she said.

“She was my great support. I used to say to [Mum] ‘who loves you?’ and she would say ‘my baby loves me’. She used to give me lots of hugs and kisses, reassurance and guidance.”’

Rennie Hobbs, of Broadford, with a horse during a profound experience with the Riding for the Disabled Association – one of the activities she is undertaking to help her confidence and reconnect with the community. ​

NDIS partner Intereach and Broadford-based NDIS support provider Local Country Care provided support, assisting Ms Hobbs’ access to the NDIS scheme.

“Ever since I got on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and started getting support, my life has been wonderful,” she said.

“I think I’ve grown and matured a lot thanks to all the support I’ve received. I’m a lot more cheerful and adventurous.”

Intereach local area coordinator Anna Babycz said Ms Hobbs came to her planning meeting a ‘shy, timid and emotional woman’.

“She was very modest in what assistance she was looking for,” Ms Babycz said.

“Upon receiving funding, Rennie’s world changed.

“She is now leaving her home and doing social things and is more confident in her outlook on life.

“Her GP noted the change in Rennie, not just physically but emotionally too.

“Rennie is confident and plans her day now and looks forward to getting out and about.”

But it is not only NDIS providers supporting Ms Hobbs – the Broadford community rallied around her while raising funds in memory of her mother for the Pancare Foundation, which researches upper gastrointestinal cancers.

Ms Hobbs walked 68 kilometres in September while selling more than $1000 in raffle tickets symbolising the 68 Australians dying from gastrointestinal cancers each day.

“My anxiety levels have gone down a little bit and if I am anxious thanks to the NDIS and my grief counsellor I am able to self-talk …and concentrate on the positive things,” Ms Hobbs said.

“The NDIS supports have been beautiful, supportive, nurturing, non-judgemental and a whole lot of fun. They just treat me like one of the gang.

“All the friends I’ve made through the NDIS, they all have their own worries and disabilities, and it’s nice not to feel like an outcast or not worthy of friendship.

“They may not have bipolar. Some of them have physical disabilities and I think it’s great because they’ve accepted me as their friend and I love that. It’s all acceptance.”

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