Kirsty

I’m Kristy and I live with independence in my own home enabled by ubu. I have a lovely apartment in Leeds and I have been here for a few years now.

Before moving in, I lived at home with my parents. When I was planning to leave my family home I wanted to live somewhere I could feel safe and where people would support me to live the way I wanted to. I needed people to listen to me and help me in what I wanted to be helped with and achieve. I was given the opportunity to move into a ubu flat after reading about them on the internet. To find out more I arranged a meeting one of the enabling teams. I was really impressed by what I discovered and felt that I might have found what I was looking for and so I moved in the April of that year.

One of things I wanted right from the start of living with more independence was a job. I knew that wanted to get out more, meet people and make new friends. This was something that the ubu enabling team really understood from listening to me talk about what I wanted to do. They encouraged and helped me to find ways to succeed in my first goal. I found a volunteer group called the Morley Elderly Action Group. They help older people make connections with others and to make friends within their own community. They get together every week on Tuesdays so I went down to meet everyone and see if they liked me and I liked them. I felt that I needed 1:1 support at the beginning, so my ubu enabler came with me. I was really shy at first but having an enabler with me really helped to boost my confidence. I had a chat with a lady called Barbara who ran the group.  She was more than happy for me to help her as a volunteer. We arranged for me to go and help the following week.

The next Tuesday came and so with my enabler, I went along to the group meeting and was greeted by Barbara who was very pleased to see me. She made me a cup of tea and told me what my responsibilities would be. I would be helping to make teas and coffee, I would also help keep the kitchen tidy, drying the cups after someone else had washed them. Barbara and the others could see how shy I was and that I didn’t have much confidence. They made me feel very welcome and I really enjoyed my first day.

I have now been going for about 2 months and my confidence has grown massively. My responsibilities have also become bigger. I now help Barbara with taking the money when other people are paying for their drinks. Because I am now much more comfortable with everyone at the centre, I even know what some people want before they ask for it! I have asked if I can go to the centre without any enabling support in the future and we have all agreed that is the best way forward for me.

Spending the time at the Morley Elderly Action has not only helped me to get out and about but also helped me develop confidence and to find something positive to contribute in my local community.