My name is CJ, and I'm from Blackpool. During my years at school, I lived in 24-hour supported accommodation and it was ok.
Everything was done for me.
However, there was little opportunity to make decisions and do things for myself, like choosing what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, and this frustrated me.
So when I left school, I made the decision that would change my life. I moved into my own flat supported and enabled by ubu. It was a big change for me because at last I had the opportunity to have my voice heard and to express my dreams for my future. One of the first goals I set for myself was to gain greater control and do more tasks independently. The ubu enablers who provide me with 1:1 support have listened to my ideas and helped me to build a plan so that I can work towards learning things that "let me do for myself and not rely on someone to do for me".
First, ubu's enablers worked with me to find a way to build up knowledge of my new community. To start, I wanted to be able go to my local shop. I began by making the journey with help and guidance from my enabler. There were a few roads and turns to rememebr along the way, but I was determined. It didn’t take long for me to feel more confident about the route. Soon I was able to find my way with less and less prompting.
I felt quite anxious about crossing roads and I was a bit wary of traffic and other obstacles. I had never really had the opportunity to deal with or learn much about road safety in the past because it was always something taken care of on my behalf by someone else.
My enablers worked with me so that I could build my confidence and learn the safest and best ways to get to where I wanted to go. We started by working with gentle prompts and as I began to feel more confident I was able to manage with less support. I learned about using pelican and zebra crossings and after a few months of practice I was able to use them myself. This was a great achievement and it made me even more determined to find more ways to be independent and do things for myself.
At home I wanted to be able to make my own meals and keep my home clean and tidy. I took each task one step at a time, learning some of the basics like how to cook and wash up my dishes afterwards. Again it took a little while to achieve. I started with helpful prompts from ubu enablers but it wasn’t long before I began to undertake these tasks for myself.
One of the next things I wanted to have more control over was being able to make decisions about the kind of things I like to eat and to take care of my budget by buying cost-effective foods. It was also important for me to make sure that what I was choosing to buy was also healthy and nutritious. Again I was able to achieve this goal, supported at first with useful prompts and then as my enthusiasm and confidence grew I began to make my own lists and to go out and shop on a weekly basis.
After Christmas last year I started to go alone to the cinema. It was a great success. At last I have begun to feel like there so many brilliant things that I can do for myself. When I was in 24 hour care I was encouraged to do almost nothing for myself. Everything was done for me. But all of that has changed. Now I’m planning to go further afield soon, to visit friends and have new adventures.
I am achieving my dream of independence. I have learned skills which help me live my life the way I choose and which have enabled me to make decisions that I was never allowed to the past.
ubu enablers have worked closely with me to make plans which help me to achieve my goals. When I need support I know I can ask for it, but now I determine when and what I want to do with my life. I decide where life takes me.
National Carer's Week
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring in the UK. ubu are proud to share stories both of the people who provide support and those whom they serve, and the positive impact the right amount and types of care can have on a person's life.
ubu's mission is to enable vulnerable people to live as independently as possible with minimal support. We say that "caring is great. But Enabling is extraordinary." CJ's story is an excellent example of how tailoring the right support to an individual's goals helps them to learn and grow, and to lead an active, full life on their own terms.
To learn more about ubu and our innovative model of care, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 01423 85 86 87.