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.