Individuality is the ability to be yourself and model your future around the things that matter to you. It’s a fantastic thing that means no two people are alike and disability is a trait that can help to create it. Everyone should have the opportunity to be themselves whether that be independently or with a solid and trustworthy support network but sadly, as seen with the recent Whorlton Hall abuse scandal, this is not always the case. ubu ensures every person we support has every opportunity to be positively unique in a safe and supportive environment and here are a few stories from the people we serve about their wonderfully different lives.
I have lived with ubu for 2 years, and in that time my life has had many ups and downs. I am a lively, fun-loving guy with a cracking sense of humour but at the same time my confidence is lacking. People who I thought were my friends and liked me for me only wanted to take advantage, this ended up with me having a few too many run ins with the wrong side of the law along with a bad reputation. The thing is I knew it wasn’t a part of my personality but I could never find it in me to say no to the people who were shaping me this way.
I thought I was stuck but my Enabling Support Workers knew I was more than what everyone thought and with their help as well as my loving partner’s, they helped the real me shine and I started working hard to get my life back on track! I had a love for interior design and over the months I sank everything I had into MY passion coming to the real conclusion creativity was what I was all about and painting and decorating was the career for me not crime.
I am now looking to start a decorating course to help give me the skills I need to start my interior design career but it also is giving me an opportunity to help me with my maths and English something I know will help and stick by me long into the future. I’ve also started going to football every Tuesday with someone who lives in my building, he’s a breath of fresh air compared to the previous people I used to hang around with and I would like to say we are becoming good friends!
Eventually I am hoping to be employed in a job after I have completed my courses, ready to continue working hard towards a me I like not just one that pleases everybody else.
Prior to moving into my supported living flat in Knaresborough I lived in a house in Harrogate with my family and worked as an Engineer helping with large scale projects where I currently live. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, a neurodegenerative genetic disorder. As a result of this my health will increasingly decline which I am gradually coming to terms with.
After leading a busy hectic life I have struggled with not being able to do what I was once able to do. I loved playing sports in my free time, especially football. But now I have to make do with watching it on TV and sometimes going to watch Harrogate Town play when they are at home, even though my favourite team is Leeds United!
I was talking with my Enabling Support Workers about when I used to go to college in Scarborough and how many special memories I had of the place. My team supporting me suggested that we could plan a day out to Scarborough if I would like to, what a fantastic idea I thought, a day out and a chance to revisit happy memories.
Before I knew it outing day had finally arrived. Starting at the train station, myself and my Enabling Support Worker caught the train to Scarborough. On it we listened to my favourite trance music, and chatted about some of my fond memories I was absolutely loving the journey and it didn’t take very long to get there at all.
On arrival at Scarborough we went to visit some of the places that I used to go to and I also had a trip into the Sea Life Centre, what an amazing place that was! I must tell you I have a love for all things penguin and in the Centre I was watching them for what felt like a lifetime I wish I could have taken one home with me.
With all the excitement and laughter taking over me I did truly feel like me again and without realising it I had been talking much clearer than usual, but really thinking about it I have always been me it just took a little trip down memory lane to see it. Somethings are out of our control but I won’t ever let it stop me from being me.
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