‘The professionals said he would not amount to anything, he wouldn’t be a brain surgeon’

Willing and able: Jordy Threlfo, centre, runs a business with help from his mum Dee, left, and support worker Jen Quinn. Picture: Jonothan CarrollWHEN Dee Threlfo was told her son Jordy wouldn’t amount to much because of his disability, it would have been easy to despair.
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“In primaryschool, the professionals said he would not amount to anything, he wouldn’t be a brain surgeon, and in high schoolthey told me to‘put him with his own kind’ in a group workshop,” says the Sawyers Gully mum.

Her anger made way for determination: “Itjust made me want tolook out side the box. Jordy isa delightful young man who loves to be around people.”

Hearing of a young Canberra man with a disability who did a mail run, Ms Threlfo reflectedand thought odd jobs might be Jordy’sforte.She made up a letterbox flyer and put out the word about her son’s services.

“The response was slow at first and we had someone say not to go back, and that’s ok, it won’t suit everyone, but most people were excited that someone could get out there and do this,” she says.

In July, 24-year-old Jordy’s business Jordy Can Do Errands For You celebrates six years. Ithas 18 businesses in Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Maitland on its books. In 2017, it won Cessnock Chamer of Commerce’s outstanding customers service award

Jordy works Monday to Thursday doing all manner of jobs, from delivering newspapers and putting out garbage binsto washing dishes and vacuuming.

When you ask Jordy if he likes to work, his reply is simple: “Yay! I’m busy!”.

Strength in numbers: Jordy Threlfo, centre, has Down Syndrome and has his own business – Jordy Can Do Errands for You. Pictured also, his mum Dee Threlfo, left, and Jen Quinn, right, who helped developed the business. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Aided by support worker Jen Quinn, Jordy dons his blue business shirt and gets to work with infectious enthusiasm. Among his favourite jobs are ‘Going to see Ruthie’ at the newsagency in Weston and vacuuming at West Cessnock Medical Centre.Grateful for her “beautiful support workers”, Ms Threlfo says Ms Quinnknows when to step in and help.

“Jordy calls her ‘Gem’and that’s what she is,”she says.

Ms Quinn says Jordy’s work ethic has grown and he is simply “happy to go out”. “Even if he got 10 cents he’d be over the moon,” she notes. “Ifyou asked Jordy what was the best part of the day he always says someone’s name rather than something per se, he loves people.”

Work ethic: Jordy Threlfo, centre, with his mum Dee Threlfo, left, and Jen Quinn, right, who helped him develop his business. Picture: Jonathan Carroll