Big plans for a novel idea

22/08/2018. Sunbury/Macedon Star Weekly. Shop. Issue Date 28/08. Sunbury. Distinctive Options has put a call out for extra Coles Little Shop collectibles so they can use them as communication aids for people with disabilities. Pictured is participant Kiara. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Esther Lauaki

A Sunbury disability service has come up with a heartwarming idea – using the latest supermarket collectables once their novelty has worn off.

Distinctive Options has put a call out on social media asking people to donate, rather than throw away, their Coles Little Shop miniatures that have been in hot demand since the shopping giant launched the tiny range of 30 popular products.

Distinctive Options wants to use the miniatures, which include replicas of Nutella, Milo, coffee, hand wash, shampoo and Vicks VapoRub, as communication aids and education tools for its clients.

Communication co-ordinator Sarah Heriot, whose social media plea for the items went viral with nearly 200 shares, said the items could be used by people to describe what they would like to eat or buy.

“Shopping in a supermarket can be very overwhelming for people with a disability,” she said.

“The mini-collectables help an individual to find one product, when with something like coffee or tea they have more than one brand to choose from. They can help people select one so that we can make up visual shopping lists, where we velcro them (the replicas) on to a shopping list.

“They can help to prompt actions, too … the shampoo bottle could be a prompt to wash hair or the dog food could prompt us to buy pet food or feed your dog.”

She encouraged residents to drop in to make donations of miniatures or post them to 24 Macedon Street, Sunbury.