Katie's Diary

The Best Birthday Gift Ever

18th November 2015

Most of us take a birthday party or a celebration meal for granted.  It might need a little more thought; we usually find it easy to throw a party or host a meal and do whatever’s necessary to make it happen, from booking a table to inviting our nearest and dearest.

For many of the people ubu serves, activities, tasks or celebrations often take for granted, can prove daunting. But with the kind of enabling and support provided by ubu, everyone should be able to appreciate and enjoy any event or activity, from a birthday party to a family outing.

For Nichola, a lady served by ubu, her autism has meant that celebrating birthday parties rare and far apart; her last one was her 21st –  19 years ago. With her 40th birthday on the horizon the ubu team of enablers in Newcastle stepped in to support Nichola to make sure it was a party to remember.  Working together with Nichola, it took six months of meticulous planning but the end result was worth every second. 

ubu’s motto is ‘near enough is not good enough’ and everyone involved really took that to heart, agreeing  that before you can have a successful celebration you have to plan carefully and make sure that friends know about it and are able to come along.

The first thing ubu enablers did was alongside Nichola, encouraging her to make her own invitations to send out to her friends and family.  While she was waiting for the replies to come in, Nichola went with her mum and members of the ubu team supporting her, to help her choose a beautiful dress and a fantastic cake.

The next step was to choose the right venue for her party. It had to be near enough to Nichola’s childhood home, so that her mum could attend, as well as close to her own home. Nichola was determined that she would have as many of her closest friends around her on her big day as could come.

With the venue booked and the big day approaching, decorating the party hall was the next priority.  Caterers were found along with a DJ to play the music so that all of Nichola’s friends and family would be sure to have a brilliant time.

The party was a great success, a fitting celebration for a true birthday princess. Nichola enjoyed every moment.  “It was the best birthday gift ever”. Her confidence and the happiness she radiated from being able to share her special day with those she loves was magical.

Thrilled at the look on Nichola’s face during her birthday party, one of her ubu enabling team commented “It made me realise that people should never be put into boxes. We can all improve the quality of life for the people we serve by making sure they have the opportunities to be successful, breaking down barriers and ensuring that they can make choices for themselves”.

“As enablers we are travelling alongside the people we support, sharing the journey, the ups and downs, celebrating the joy, learning and growing together”.  

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