Katie's Diary

Our Garden Party Opening in Knaresborough

12th September 2014

WE celebrated the opening of our latest uStep service this week with a garden party in Knaresborough.

Carnival games, face painting, and Morris dancing kicked off the party, follwed by a celebration with music. Not one but two singing sensations joined us to make sure it went with a bang. But before they took to the stage, the Mayor of Knaresborough, Councillor Tony Handley, cut the ribbon and helped release some doves to signal another landmark in the ubu journey.

The doves symbolised the freedom that ubu through uStep can help the people they serve live more independent free lives.  As the doves took advantage of the fresh air and freedom to fly, the people ubu serve can take advantage of uStep services to carve out the lives they want, in the right kind of environment for them, with individual support packages that enables them to be what they want.

After the formal ceremony we all headed into the back garden of uStep for a party with singing, dancing and lunch.

Sarah, who has lived with ubu for 15 years and who lives in one of our uStep services spoke movingly on how ubu took her in, when no one else wanted her and ubu helped her turn her life round.

She has made a short film that will be on www.ubu.me.uk soon in which she talks of her early life of abuse, self harm and embarking on a journey to achieve some goals.  Sarah is proud of how far she has come but honestly admits she still has a long way to go before she can achieve her ultimate goal of finding her long lost brother.  We’re sure she will succeed.


Our grand opening garden party in Knaresborough was a celebration of everything that is ubu and uStep.

Everyone who came got the chance to write a note and post it on the Wish Tree.  Some were very ambitious but many were simple wishes such as one hoping to move to a uStep service.

Since the first uStep service opened, ubu has helped 100’s of people set some goals for more independence living based at the heart of their own communities.  By putting the wishes of the people we serve at the heart of the ubu ethos, members of the uStep family are achieving their goals and seeing their wishes and dreams come true.

Everyone is on a journey.  There is no reason why a person we serve should be any different or any less able to achieve their dreams. 

ubu is simply about enabling people to be what they should be rather than what someone else thinks they can be.

The new uStep service in Knaresborough will see more people we serve join our family, but better it will see more people start their journey towards a greater independence, safely, in the kind of environment they want and should be able to achieve their wishes in.

We have lots of lovely pictures.  Follow @katiescalendar @ubusupport and visit www.ubu.me.uk to see some of them now and more of them later.


The Mayor of Knaresborough was very emotional when he spoke of how his research had lead him to discover that ubu was all about enabling people to be who they want to be.     

“ubu really does enable the people they serve to become the people they could be rather than the people they are,” he told more than 200 guests who came for the garden party.

His thoughts were echoed by opera singer Jonathan Ansell of GForce who reminded us of the quote by US president, Thomas Jefferson, that: ‘The God who gave us life gave us liberty’. 

Thomas Jefferson is relevant to uStep in Knaresborough because of our own Netty Jefferson, the support manager, direct descendant of the great man.  Netty and the team are looking forwards to working with the new people they serve who will join the ubu family to help them improve their lives in the way they want.

In the same way uStep services gives all the people we serve the chance to achieve their goals and the grand opening garden party at Knaresborough was packed with friends old and new, like Sarah who had started on their road to achievement with ubu through uStep.

Simon Cox lives in Harrogate and he spoke about how uStep had helped him to live a more independent life in his community and make new friends while starting a career at a garden centre.  Lots of our other friends were there too to demonstrate how uStep is helping them live more independently at the heart of their local communities.

For Martin Finn, our second celebrity singer, who was delighted to join us and share his incredible gift of song to launch our new service.

Martin is severely autistic but proved that with support from a loving family he can shine on the stage.  After hearing a song once, he can sing it word perfect like an angel.  His family loved the uStep service and the thought that it provided a safe secure yet greater independent environment where someone such as Martin could live.

He is proof that everyone has a gift, it’s a case of finding your gift and encouraging it so that each person can achieve their potential.  Don’t forget if you have an ambition or gift you want to shout about follow us on twitter, drop us a line and tell us about it.

Our Garden Party Opening in Knaresborough

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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