CELEBRITY singers, clowns, Indian dancers, Morris dancers, a Mayor, people we serve, families and doves joined us to celebrate with a grand opening garden party at our latest uStep service in Knaresborough this week.
But the real stars of the show were some of the people we serve who joined us from around the country to celebrate, have fun and demonstrate how successful their journey has been to date.
They joined former xFactor star and G4 singer, Jonathan Ansell who performed at the party which launched the new uStep service that will help some of the most vulnerable adults in the area, giving them the chance of greater independence integrated at the heart of their own communities.
Jonathan was thrilled to be part of the launch team and spoke of how impressed he was at the uStep concept of care that enabled individuals to express themselves as he could through his music. Jonathan sang a series of pop, rock and opera songs before signing autographs and joining with the 200 guests at the celebration garden party.
Joining Jonathan on the stage was Martin Finn, the 23 year old autistic singer who has the voice of an angel. Despite his condition Martin is able to sing any song he hears word perfect and is proof that everyone should have the opportunity to use their gifts and talents as they would like.
Martin was just one example of how enabling a person to be what they can be, really works!
But there were lots of others including guests from our uStep services in Darlington, Harrogate and Leeds including our host for the day, an incredible woman, Sarah.
Sarah has been supported by ubu for 15 years and has made a film about her journey and the impact that both ubu and uStep have had on her life.
She spoke of how she was locked away and when no one else wanted her ubu did. She told guests that the support she had from ubu had changed her own life and meant she was gradually achieving the goals she had set herself physically and mentally.
Today the doctors who were treating her when she first came to ubu, wouldn’t recognise her. Confident and determined Sarah is typical of many of the people that ubu and uStep help, it continues to evolve and puts vulnerable adults firmly at the centre of their own support.
The Knaresborough uStep service was opened by the Mayor, Councillor Tony Handley who told guests how impressed he was with ubu and how it really did allow people to be themselves. Gordon, a gentleman from Nottingham that we serve then joined him to release a flock of doves into the air, to take flight, signifying how the people we serve spread their wings with our uStep services leading them towards greater independent lives.
Our Knaresborough opening comes after another year of successful openings around the North of England which have helped more people we serve begin their own journeys.
Chief Executive Dorothy Jarvis Lee was delighted at the latest opening but said there was still a long way to go for many vulnerable adults in the UK.
“uStep is an opportunity for both vulnerable adults and society to benefit. Each person who experiences ubu’s model of care has the chance to discover a more independent life in the best environment available, safely and at the heart of their chosen community.
“We see today many people who are already a long way down their journey of improvement. That is thanks to enabling them to be what they can be and want to be.
“ubu will continue to evolve new models of care that place the people we serve at the heart of their own support rather than steering them in the direction society would prefer.
“Now policy makers must start to see the value premium of what ubu through uStep offers. We have had the vision to start this journey of evolution in health and social care, but we have also proved that by being creative and innovative we can deliver better value for the whole of society and more importantly improve the lives of the people we serve.”
Follow our progress on @ubusupport