We’re proud of our successes
The ubu way
Perhaps one of greatest skills at ubu is that we are great listeners and by active and careful listening we truly understand why each of us ‘do what we do’, the issues, challenges, hopes and dreams of those we serve, from this precious information we can tailor a bespoke plan for every individual that will truly enable them to realise those goals, aims and aspirations.
SO HOW DO WE ACHIEVE THIS?
We bring together a multi-disciplinary team for every individual that we serve, these teams include experts and therapists with the range of skills to help and support each individual, this is of huge importance if individuals have complex mental health conditions, learning disabilities, personality and behavioural disorders.
This carefully tailored support will enable those we serve to live as safely, independently and as happily as possible within their own community.
I love art and crafts and with help from ubu enablers I found lots of local art venues that were advertised in local papers and on the internet. I visited all the places that had art classes near my home in Manchester to see which I liked best. They were all so different and it was difficult to choose. In the end I found a group called Venture Art. Venture Arts is a professional art studio which provides a bright and lively environment for people to produce quality artwork. It’s organised by a group of professional art graduates who work alongside adults with learning disabilities.
I went along to my first class and everyone was so friendly and I felt comfortable. I knew I would love coming along and I could learn new exciting skills! What I really like is that each week is different. There are all sorts of activities which I have tried such as painting, fabric crafts but it is pottery that really got me fired up. I find it really satisfying to work with and model a piece of clay. Once I had made and finished my first piece of pottery I was excited to proudly display it my home so my friend and family could see it too.
I have to concentrate more than I ever have before as I realised I need to focus if I want to get my creations finished.
As a group we get together and decide what our next project will be. Each of our projects is centred around one of the members of the class and what materials they like to work with. In my case of course that’s pottery. It’s such fun. We go out and about and find ideas for our projects by visiting lots of interesting places like sensory gardens, parks and museums.
Over the past 12 weeks I have found lots of enjoyment making lots of clay creations. One piece was chosen to be displayed in as an exhibition in the foyer of the Lowry Centre which is a fantastic art museum in Manchester. Having a piece of my work displayed there, for all sorts of people to see has been one of my proudest moments. Just goes to show hard work really does pay off!
It has been amazing to have somewhere for my friends and families to go and see my art work displayed. There has been an even better benefit for me though. Not only do I have more friends but I have better concentration and have less epileptic seizures than I have ever had! I am happier, healthier and feel better as a result.
I want to keep making more art work and try working with different materials. Since the Lowry exhibition my confidence has grown and I am aiming towards, with the enabling support from ubu, perhaps one day having my own exhibition in Manchester which will display all my work
Hi my name is Catherine. I have lived in social housing for a long time. I wasn’t happy, even my family and friends noticed. I became very poorly and underweight and had to be admitted to Hospital. While in hospital I was fitted with a gastro tube, this gave me my food and medication.
I was desperate to get my independence back, I wanted to do things for myself! After I left hospital, I moved in to a flat supported and enabled by ubu. At first I needed the support of two enablers to help me get around. I was really weak.
My ubu enabling team helped me make some changes. I had a plan with goals to aim for. I knew I wanted to stop relying on the gastro tube so I started by drinking little sips of water. It didn’t take long to get used to it again and soon I was able to drink by mouth. This was a real confidence boost for me. I knew that this would be a long process. The ubu enabling team gave me all the support and encouragement I needed. I started eating small amounts of soft food. I really liked that, I was able to enjoy my meals again.
My appearance changed quickly, the dietician told me that I no longer needed to work on putting on weight. I could also feel myself getting stronger. I can get out of my wheelchair and even my bed with the support of just one enabler. I’m also walking short distances with a little bit of help.
The gastro tube is just for my medication now. My diet has been improving and although I still have to eat soft food, I really enjoy eating. I’m so much happier these days, with support from my family and the ubu team, I am planning on my next goal. I am planning to go on holiday later in the year which will be a huge step forward for me.
I didn’t like going outside much. It made me uncomfortable and anxious. Even small changes or new things were stressful to me. But it was hard to communicate my feelings properly. So when my family moved far away, I was very sad and stressed, life was difficult and no one seemed to hear me.
Then things changed, I met ubu and moved into a apartment model service and began working with my enabling team. Thanks to ubu I have grown more comfortable and confident, and this has enabled me to communicate my feelings much better, now people hear me. I have gained a lot more independence, doing much more for myself now. I now have the skills and confidence to want to be outside more, I’ve grown to like been outside my home: I now shop, walk, and even go to visit my friends rather than wait for them to always come to me!
All my hard work to overcome my anxieties has resulted in a dream, a trip to visit my brothers and sisters who moved far away. I am so happy, as my life is no longer limited by fear, I no longer feel like a prisoner trapped inside by my own mind.
My name is Craig and I turned 18 recently. I’ve moved into a flat where I live more independently, enabled and supported by ubu. I had been living in Care with 24 hour support where I wasn’t encouraged to do anything for myself and I just wasn’t motivated. Each day was the same. So it was a big change for me, when I moved, having to take more responsibility and getting fewer 1:1 support hours. It took a while to adjust to that but I knew that I had ‘background’ support from ubu team members if I needed it.
Once I got to know everyone in my new home, the ubu enablers really listened to me and helped me to talk about what I’d like to do in the future. At first I felt unsure. I hadn’t really had to think about my goals before or what I wanted to do with my life. But as I got more confident talking about things, I started to realise that I had choices. I knew that I wanted to be more independent, to take charge of my life and start doing more things for myself. I also wanted to get to know the area I was living in a bit better, meet other people and get a feel for what’s out there.
The ubu enabling team helped me. We worked together. They heard what I was saying about what makes me anxious. So I took things one step at a time until I felt more confident.
I wanted to explore the area by finding where the local shops were. I didn’t really like the traffic. At first I had a hard time crossing roads, I almost no idea how to do it safely, so it took a while understand the right way to cross the road. It took practice. ubu enablers taught me and gave me support and encouragement. It wasn’t long before I was able to do it well. The road didn’t feel nearly so scary once I knew how to cross it properly.
It was the same with looking after myself and my home. To begin with I needed constant reminders but I soon started to make sure I my home cleaned and sorted. Ordinary things, but chores I’d never had to deal with before for myself. Food shopping was the next thing I had to deal with. Making a list of what I needed, thinking about keeping to my budget and finding healthy meals was a bit of a challenge.
I have been living this new, more independent way for more than a year and now I have the confidence to go that bit further. It’s been massive! I recently found out that I’m going to be an uncle, my sister is having a baby, so that’s something totally new for me to deal with. It’s really important to me have a good relationship with my sister and give her support when she needs it in the future. For the first time in my life I know that I can choose to do that and also be the best uncle I can.
Hi I’m Emma.
My life has transformed in the past couple of years and looking back I cannot believe that it’s the same person!
I lived at home with my parents and very rarely got out of bed. This resulted in me having painful bed sores. I didn’t often want to go out and all my food and medication was liquidised. I was fed up with that life and wanted a different one. It was a choice I had to make. I had to take control.
I was introduced to ubu and told them about what I wanted; friends to go out with, to enjoy ‘proper food’ and to go travelling. ubu listened to me and offered me the choice to have my own home. I was so excited. This was the first step to independence and the new me.
I started questioning the things that had become the norm. Like “Why was everything liquidised?”, “Why didn’t I get out of bed?”, “Why did I needed two people to help me move around?” No one really knew the answers to any of my questions. I have to admit I was overweight but I didn’t do any exercise so I guess that’s bound to happen. I knew to achieve the independence I wanted I would have to get up and get moving.
I started by getting up earlier and I found once I was up and moving I couldn’t stop! I found there were loads of local groups to go meet people but I chose a couple to take part and learn new skills. The ubu enablers helped me learn about the right food to eat to stay fit and healthy and I started cooking my own meals.
I am more active and fitter than ever before. My confidence has grown and I take pride in my appearance. I cannot wait to go and catch up with my friends and look forward to a good giggle! Now I know I can achieve what I set out to achieve I aim to go further. I am planning my first holiday which I cannot wait for and know this will be the first of many.
Hi, I’m Joshua. I have lived in the same place for five years but in that time I have seen many changes. The biggest of these has happened in the last two years when ubu became my support provider.
I have been wearing padded arm splints since I was a child, which helped to ensure I’m safe from any physical hazards when I’m finding it difficult to control my emotions. As the years passed I was becoming more reliant on the splints, only taking them off for very brief periods of time. Unfortunately this prevented me from being independent and stopped me from taking part in the activities I enjoyed.
When ubu began supporting me, I was initially nervous as it was a big change; however it didn’t take long to see how friendly my new enablers were and to recognise how helpful they’ve been in building my confidence. I have been encouraged to start new activities and have found more things that I want to get involved in. They have also been working with me to address and find ways for me to take control of the most difficult thing in my life; my splints! I’ve spent longer periods of time not wearing them and this has built up the strength in my arms.
It’s an on-going journey but I’m proud to tell everyone that I feel more in control of my emotions than ever. Because of this I have been able to do so much more including practicing my boxing skills; my favourite sport, propelling my wheelchair with greater ease and organising my own review.
Looking to the future I hope through hard work and commitment I will rely on my splints less and less, gain full control of my life and achieve even more independence.
Hi there! My name is Lisa from Blackpool and I work two days a week in a local café as a waitress. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But that’s not the only thing I’ve wanted to get right in my life! One of those things was to have my own flat where I can be independent and live the way I choose to live. I have that now along with my fantastic job and best of all I’ve started to go to Zumba classes too.
About 18 months ago, when I first moved into to my own flat, supported by ubu my life was very different. I knew that one of the things I wanted most in my life was a job but I just wasn’t sure of how to go about getting one. The first step was to collect the right forms from the local Job Centre offices. The next step was to fill them in properly so that I could get some professional and meaningful career coaching in how to do it. ubu enablers gave me support when I asked for it and it wasn’t long before things started to improve for me on the job hunting front.
That was just the start of it. I started to understand that the new skills I was learning would lead to me finding my first job, or so I hoped. At the Job Centre, advisors really put me through my paces helping me to see what skills I had and how I could enjoy and be successful working around other people in a place I might get to work in.
It was so wonderful to get really useful advice and coaching from people who could help me to achieve what I wanted in life. Along with mentoring from ubu enablers, I was able to get on with looking for a job that was right for me. I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do but working in hospitality was what really appealed to me so I applied to a local café. It was easier than I thought. The manager of the café was obviously impressed with the way I talked about myself at my interview. I felt really confident about describing the skills I have to offer. Anyway, I got the job, so I definitely got it just right.
Getting a meaningful job, that I love, has been a great confidence boost for me. Working with others people has given me the boost I needed to go to my local gym and join a Zumba class. I really want to get healthy and fit, and Zumba dance seems to have had a terrific effect on how I feel in myself and about how I look. Now my doctor is beginning to question the way people have described my behaviours and mental health in the past and I have been able, with her advice, to reduce my medication and now I feel much more in control of my own life.
I’m so excited about the changes I have made recently and how confident I feel around people and in the work I do. Who knows what else will be round the corner for me? Whatever it is I know I can rely on the enabling support I get from ubu to give me the right amount of encouragement when I ask for it. I am gentle starting to make decisions for myself about where I want to be and what I want to do to take the next steps in achieving greater independence and happiness in the future.
My name is Tracy. I’m a person that other people used to find ‘difficult’ to be around. They’d say I had “behavioural issues”. I was assessed, I got help from psychologists and social workers, but I wasn’t happy. For a while I was re-housed in a Blackpool hotel. It was awful. I felt alone and unsafe.
Fortunately, a room became ready for me to move into on a temporary basis in a lovely house. It was a communal house where people are enabled to live with more independence by ubu. When I first arrived I felt at home almost immediately. I felt safe and supported. It was a good feel relaxed and comfortable after a long time of feeling anxious and upset.
The ubu team and the other people who live in the house made me feel very welcome. Together we made my room homely and how I wanted it even though I knew I was just staying there temporarily. It really helped to build my confidence up and I began to feel a bit more comfortable being with the other people who lived in the house.
In the past I have been seen by everyone as a person who only likes her own company. Perhaps that was true, but as I spent more time in the new house, getting to know people and becoming used to a different style of living I was becoming happier and more open.
I started to spend more of my time being around my new-found friends and taking part in the day-to-day social events that happen in a home you share with other people. I started to make my own new routines and I was getting on with my life in a way that felt much easier than before. I felt calmer and more relaxed, people noticed that I had started to smile more!
Eventually it was agreed that I could live here permanently. All the social workers and psychologists who had been watching my progress and especially the ubu enabling team who supported me every day, could see how much happier I had become. My mum was particularly pleased because where I live now is much closer to her house and she can come and visit me more often now. I really enjoy that and look forward to her coming over.
I like living in this house and I love going into the big garden at the back. I have redecorated my room and made it pretty and pink, I think that it its gorgeous. I’m building up the confidence to plan my activities each week so that I have lots to do. I’m getting to know the neighbours and people say hello to me when I’m out and about. That’s a big change for me, I’m part of the community now, I’m not alone any more