WHAT a fantastic year 2014 has been! Despite the continued pressures and challenges presented by the Health and Social Care profession along with on-going cuts to government funding – we continue to face the challenges head on and provide quality care and support to the people we serve.
2014 has been a year of success stories; we opened more uStep models of support across the UK, enabling us to support and serve more people. The uStep model of support offers greater independence to vulnerable adults that previously they would never have had the opportunity to live how they wanted in hospitals or institutions.
We were also pleased to receive a series of visits from both policy makers and advisors including the Care Minister, Norman Lamb. He experienced first-hand the positive impact uStep has on the people we serve, he said: “The contrast between the uStep model and institutional care (which still exists for far too many) is just enormous. There is a responsibility on all of us to make it happen and organisations such as ubu are doing just that.”
We said goodbye to some colleagues, but welcomed new ones to the ubu family. At ubu we believe ‘to treat a person as they are, they will remain as they are; to treat a person as they could be, they will become what they should be.’ – That is as true for our colleagues as the people we serve. One parting quote in March was: “working at ubu has given me confidence; I have grown as a person and view the world completely differently. Everybody has taught, inspired and supported me in ways they’ll never realise.”
To reinforce our investment in people, we were awarded the Investors In People (IIP) Gold Standard in July - only seven per cent of all companies who aspire to the IIP achieve gold level. The assessors praised ubu for creating a culture of ‘passion, enthusiasm, belief and determination.’
Throughout the year we celebrated many campaigns and charities, including International Happiness Day, World Autism Day, and World Down Syndrome Day. We also cheered on and revelled in the achievements of the Paralympian’s at Sochi, the Commonwealth Games and let’s not forget everyone joining in to celebrate Le Grand Depart! All at a time when prejudice and ignorance is still rife, such events showcase the abilities of vulnerable adults and their determination to overcome discrimination.
Our uStep model places the people we serve at the heart of their own development. We encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and achieve their hopes, aspirations and dreams.
As the year closed we celebrated with our 15 days of Christmas: we sang, we danced, we ate, we shouted “he’s behind you” and more importantly, raised money for our favourite charities, including the DEC, RNLI, Marie Curie and World Animal Protection.
So what can we look forward to in 2015? More new openings, more partners to walk alongside us, more new people to welcome and serve in our uStep models of support and much much more.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year!
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