IN what is believed to be an Australian first, Toastmasters will today launch a weekly daytime club in Lake Macquarie to specifically accommodate people with a disability and their carers.
The club, called Warners Bay Master Class, aims to encourage those living with the debilitating effects of stroke, disability or other trauma to master speech, communication and leadership skills.
The class will be held the first three Wednesdays of each month in the morning, and carers and family members are invited to watch and participate.
Toastmasters club development officer Janelle Walker said the master class encouraged participation and interaction through public speaking.
She said this in turn encouraged self-confidence and improved self-esteem.
"When I first started with Toastmasters I was terrified," she said.
"But I overcame my nerves and developed my leadership skills."
Warners Bay resident Trevor Waller said he wanted to join Toastmasters, but found it difficult to attend night-time sessions.
Mr Waller, who has had two strokes, cannot travel to the meetings without help from his carer.
■ The first weekly Warners Bay Master Class meeting is today, Wednesday, March 6, at The Willows, 342 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay, from 10.30am. For more information phone 0477 668 807.