At ubu we believe that everyone, no matter their ability or background, should feel part of their community. Recently we’ve heard some wonderful stories from people we serve who are enabled to live with greater independence by ubu. They tell us about exciting new opportunities and activities that helping them to create connections within their own local communities.
In Castleford, Emily has recently started going to classes so that she can learn to sew. “I really enjoy the classes and I’ve learnt how to make lots of new things, like cushion covers, peg and tote bags and even sewing machine covers!” These classes have been so much fun that crafting is now something she does regularly. “I’ve enjoyed learning how to sew so much that it is now my newest hobby! I’ve had so many people compliment my crafts!” This month Emily sold some of her products at a craft fair and any profit she makes goes towards buying more material so that she can continue doing what she loves. “By going to these craft fairs I have met so many people who have the same interests as me!”
Christine from Middlesbrough, who is also enabled to live independently by ubu has started going to weekly Zumba classes. In the past, Christine has struggled with getting out and socialising with other people. She started making friends with another person who was new to her Zumba class. Christine has started to make dates to go shopping and have lunch together. So, not only is Christine getting fit and healthy by going to her Zumba classes; she has started to make a valuable new friendship!
Whilst Emily and Christine have been learning new skills and forming bonds within their local communities, Kenny from the East Midlands wanted to build on the skills he already had. So when he spoke to his support team and said “I want a job,” the first thing to do was to help him to find somewhere he could get a trial shift. “I went to work for an afternoon at a Barnardo’s charity shop near me and it was great! The shop manager said I got through my first afternoon with flying colours! So I agreed with the manager that I would start off by working one day a week and when I felt happy about what I was doing I could start doing more.” Not only has Kenny been learning how to use the till, sort clothes and organise the stock in the front of the shop, but by volunteering he has met lots of people. “I really enjoy working in the shop and it’s given me the chance to meet new people and talk to them every day. I’ve also become friends with some of the other people who volunteer there!” After a few months Kenny started working three days a week, and now he has been at Barnardo’s for over a year. “I feel more confident since I started being here. I’m so proud of the work I do here at Barnardo’s”. Recently Kenny was awarded Volunteer of the Month Award by Barnardo’s which has made him and all of his friends feel even more proud.
These stories from people we serve who are using and developing their skills and abilities to find and enjoy new activities and experiences are exciting and creative. Emily’s enjoyment in craft means she is sharing her creativity with other people; Christine is being active and gaining friendships with others who have the same interests and Kenny is contributing to Barnardo’s charity and also making new friends.