Hi my name is CJ and I live in my own flat, enabled and supported by ubu in Lancashire. I used to live in a 24-hour, supported home but after a lot of thought on my part and talking it over with my family, I decided it would be good for me to try and live more independently. So I moved to my new home.
When I first arrived here, I had been assessed as needing quite a lot of 1:1 support . My aim was to be less dependent on the team of ubu enablers and take small steps towards managing my own life. The enabling team who supported me in my new home helped me to take the lead on the decisions I needed to take to work out my new goals. They helped me see that by having a good plan it would be much easier to get to my goals and without too much stress.
The first thing I needed to do was to learn more about the area I was now living in. I went on walks around the town with ubu enabling team who knew their way around. It was great because they showed me where the local shops are and how to find the best places to safely to cross the road, (which around my house gets very busy). I’ve learned how to cross now without needing prompts from anyone, I know how to use the crossings and it feels great to have that freedom.
One thing I have been doing, which seems to please my family and friends, and makes me feel proud of myself, is cleaning and washing up after making a meal. In the past I couldn’t really see the point, people would nag be about it and I used to get stressed, but now I have my own place, it feels good to keep it nice.
In the past, carers have always chosen meals for me and done my shopping for all my meals. I used to go with them but I just watched as they did it all. Since I moved in to my own home I’ve started to go shopping alone. At first I took a list of food items suggested by the enabling team, but after a few months of positive support, I’ve learnt to take charge of choosing my own food for the week once I had worked out my meal plan.
It’s been a big success as far as I’m concerned. After nearly a year, I am going into Blackpool on the bus on my own, I do my shopping and travel back home. At last I’ve been given just the right amount of support to have the confidence which I needed to be more independent and do all these things for myself.
I like going to the cinema and after going a few times with ubu enablers, I now have enough confidence to go by myself. It turns out that practice makes perfect, or at least much easier. For the first time I actually want to get out on my own. I phone up the support office and say “I am going out, I have my phone with me”, and when I get back, I call in to tell the enabling team that I’m back.
Not long ago, I’ve found out that my sister is having a baby and I’m going to be an uncle! I am very excited about this news but also a little unsure what an uncle is supposed to do. So that’s my next challenge…to learn about and practice being the best uncle ever.
Finally, I know have a future to look forward to. I want to be even more independent and find a way to do something in my local community. I know I can do it because of all the things I have achieved since I came here, I really am a much happier person.