OPENING more new uStep support services is always cause for celebration but last week’s garden party at Halfpenny Lane, Knaresborough, reminded us how successful our support model has been since we opened the very first on in Leeds some years ago.
Rubbing shoulders with our celebrity singers, Jonathan Ansell and Martin Finn, were many of the people we serve who have been supported to move from shared housing or long stay hospitals into their own homes.
Totally at ease as we celebrated, their testimony to the fact that uStep is a success and is making a difference not just to their lives, but to their loved ones as well. Relaxed, they demonstrated that not only does uStep make a tangible difference by helping them achieve goals, but it helps them become more confident so they are able to tackle new challenges and try new things.
People like Simon who lives in Harrogate. When he first moved in he was nervous but excited and spoke of looking forwards to making new friends. He told us what he wanted to do and how he wanted to live but had never thought he would be given the chance. Last week as he joined the celebration’s, he remembered that day and talked about the changes to his life. The fact he now works, has lots more friends, is enjoying being able to get out and about, forging new friendships and joining in doing different things in the community. He feels more confident than ever about his future.
Similarly Sarah, who was our hostess spoke about the way that moving to her uStep support in Leeds had opened up a whole new way of life for her. Having experienced many complex difficulties in her life over a long period of time, when Sarah came to ubu she was at her lowest ebb and lacked optimism for the future. She believed society had written her off and condemned her to live her life institutionalised, until Dorothy gave her a new chance. Now she lives with greater independence and is rebuilding her life with some very personal goals she has set herself.
ubu gets a lot of satisfaction from the fact we make a real difference to the people we serve, but it is also important to ensure that we have a positive impact on society. By taking people from institutions like Sarah and enabling them to have their own homes like Simon, we are able to give them the chance to live their lives as they want.
Giving them that confidence means they learn the skills they need and want to rely less on others. In turn they need less support so the whole of society benefits.
The vision of ubu is to support vulnerable people at the heart of their communities to live more independent lives. Simon and Sarah are just two of the people we serve who are some way down the road to achieving their goals, there are many more just like them, and more who are now embarking on their own journey too.
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