Townsville Families – The Needhams

Needham

In the spirit of International Day of Families, which was last Monday, we have decided to delve into our local community and interview some of the families who call Townsville home. For those who are somewhat unfamiliar with Townsville, Townsville is a coastal city in Queensland north-east.

Considered the unofficial capital of North Queensland by locals, Townsville is surrounded by a myriad of natural wonders and relishes in over 300 days of sunshine each year! Currently, there are over 192,038 people living in Townsville, five of them being the adorable Needham family.

The Needham family is made up of Mum (Lesley), her three boys and her long-term foster child. Lesley is a 44-year-old single Mum who describes herself as a slightly quirky, boring introvert who owns her unique qualities “like as boss”! Having previously worked as a nurse Lesley had to give up her job to become a full-time carer to her children.

All three of Lesley’s boys are on the autism spectrum, and her long-term foster child has special needs. “The children’s early years were tough as we adjusted to life with autism, but through love, patience and early intervention the boys are now doing amazingly well.  We certainly aren’t your typical family, but we are a very happy household. We share a love of geeky things, chocolate, and being silly. The children range in ages from 8 – 13 so they are at a wonderful age to enjoy life with,” said Lesley.

After living in Townsville on-and-off in her early adult life, Lesley decided when her children were small to move back to Townsville. Townsville’s calm and family-friendly vibes coupled with its large array of free family activities and outdoor play areas is what ultimately brought Lesley and her family back. Her boys also love that in Townsville it is warm enough to go swimming nearly the entire year long.

So how does this super mum do it all? Here are a few hints and tips that Lesley would like to share with you –

  1. Always try to have a round of sandwiches, cake slices and poppers frozen in the freezer. If you want to do an impromptu outing, you can just grab them out and go. It certainly saves the wallet and stress.
  2. Keep a few little toys hidden away ready as gifts in case someone is having a bad day or is sick.
  3. Make a printed photo book for each of your children outlining all the skills and things that they need to learn before they become adults. In the book, include everything from cooking skills, cleaning skills, to general life skills – such as opening a bank account. Then every now and then pick something from the list and focus on learning that skill.

Next week we will focus on another local family and why they love Townsville. Thanks for reading bye until then!