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Brenton and Helen - November 2021

Meet Brenton and Helen, who participated as Need-Knowers in this year's Makeathon. It’s been seven months since the event and we touched base with Helen and Brenton to find out about their experience of being involved in the Makeathon, as well as to find out how Brenton is getting on.

Image description: Team Brenton standing outside the Makeathon venue wearing blue shirts and smiling


How did you hear about the TOM: Melbourne Makeathon? I do not even remember how I found out about TOM but I am so glad that I did. What an amazing organisation in providing so much inclusivity, as well as the opportunity to give back to the community for all to access - AMAZING!!! What was the challenge you put forward for the Makeathon? Our challenge for Team Brenton was to create a piece of assistive technology so that Brenton would be able to independently place his garden gloves on. Brenton is 23 years old and attends a garden centre where he works part of his day in the garden. Brenton wants to be as independent as possible. One of his goals is to be able to put on his garden gloves without the assistance of a support worker. Due to his sensory needs and his spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, this task that we may deem as simple was a real challenge for Brenton.

Vanessa, Mary, Helen and Brenton hard at work at the Makeathon.

Image description: Team Brenton sitting around a table working on the prototype


What was your experience being part of the TOM: Melbourne Makeathon? Team Brenton was amazing with many experts in their field. The team was really invested in solving this problem for Brenton, while providing a creative and realistic approach. The end result was a customised piece of assistive technology where Brenton was able to place his garden glove on, with no support from others. Team Brenton took their creativity one step further when they realised Brenton’s passion for the Western Bulldogs and they embedded the Bulldogs logo into the design of the assistive technology - smiles were seen all around! Is there any other news you’d like to share? Brenton recently had wrist reconstructive surgery and he has been unable to use his assistive technology. He has now received the okay from his therapy team to return back to normal activities. He will shortly be able to return to donning the garden glove by himself, yet again! Thanks Brenton and Helen! It is great to touch base and hear about your experience of the TOM: Melbourne Makeathon. We’re so glad to hear that Brenton has received the okay to get back to his regular activities – great news! Best wishes from the TOM: Melbourne team and we look forward to keeping in touch.

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