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  • Theo Chatzakis

My Journey with ubu

23years ago our son was supported by a different organisation as a child, as he got older we worked with his social worker to look for a home for him as an adult.

We found ubu and became involved with them in setting up this new service in Leeds. It was a bit of a new idea at the time having people with complex needs live in a home together. Our son fit the bill and he moved in, this was after many months of us searching for a home all over the North of England.

We were looking for somewhere near York, as at the time his support package was funded by York Council and that is where we are from. Travel distance was a concern as we hoped to have our son at home at weekends as much as possible. When he moved in it was with a young man he knew from a previous service but did not get on well with, so we had a rocky start. It was run very much like a family home at the beginning, and we were very close and involved with the staff team, it was very tight knit.

On occasions in the past, where one member of staff felt badly treated by ubu and left, the whole staff team left in sympathy causing major issues for the service. Communication between staff and management sometimes would differ and there were some changes that caused issues. When ubu moved the service from residential to supported living it was difficult period. We were very involved in the running of the home so some of the changes really had an effect on us. We didn’t always know the structure of the organisation which was not helpful. Upon reflection, the way we supported our son then is not the way we do it now. We were trying to do it on a very personal level, making sure staff and key workers that were supporting our son were treated fairly by ubu.

We want to know everything about our son's care to ensure he has the best life possible, so over the years we have attended the ubu ‘Significant Friends’ meetings to keep in the know and find out what’s going on and not be totally surprised by changes ubu have made in supporting our son.

Covid has been difficult and has been a strain on everyone but overall ubu have coped very well with it and kept staff and the people they support safe. We’ve had some difficult times with ubu but we always find a way to work through the issues. We think things have improved of late and we’ve found that ubu now take a stance of developing their staff and managers, which has created stability within the service. We have had staff and managers move around on a regular basis in the past which has always had a negative effect on our son and caused us issues. The CEO, the managers and the support staff have been stable, and we have always been able to pick up the phone and talk to people directly which is worth a lot in this day and age.

Meaningful family contact for our son is so important for us as a family

We have worked well together through Covid to maintain family contact for our son which is so important for us as a family. We are looking forward to things going back to how they were before the pandemic.

We would say it’s so important to know who is who from the start and communication is the essence to make any partnership work. It’s been a bumpy ride over the years but it would have probably been the case with any care provider that we worked with. We have a lot of friends and family that have their loved ones in care with different companies and they all have their ups and downs.

Mr. and Mrs Bell, (Mum and Dad)



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