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We’re proud of our successes

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SUCCESSES

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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.

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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. 

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West Yorkshire

Jacqui

I’m Jacqui. I live in a lovely house I share on the outskirts of Leeds enabled and supported by ubu. I’m happier now than I’ve been for most of my life. Before I came to live here I had been living in a hospital for a few years. It was a terrible time for me, I was locked up for much of the time and it’s something that’s hard to talk about. Most of my life until recently has been filled with abuse and sadness. I didn’t have proper friends and I used to feel horrible about myself.

After I left the hospital, I was given the chance to make a new start. Moving here was the beginning of a journey along the road to finding a place in the world where I could start to become healthy and strong. When I first arrived I was taking huge amounts of medication. I didn’t want to wash or get dressed most days. I was really overweight. I was angry all the time, shouting at the enablers in the house who were trying to give me support and care. After everything I had been through I found it hard to be calm and I just couldn’t be bothered to take care of myself. 

It took a while to get things sorted out. The ubu enablers were patient with me but they also made sure that I began to have some routine in my life. They helped me to start to take responsibility for the things I do. It took a lot of effort but gradually I began to be able to make some changes to my behaviour and the choices I was making. It was really hard because I just didn’t feel I was worth anything. 

But there was always someone there to listen to me, if I was feeling down or upset I knew I could go and talk. I started to realise that it didn’t help being aggressive. It was OK to feel down sometimes, probably everyone does, but it’s even better to notice when you feel happy. I decided to start keeping a diary. I used it to write down what I was thinking about, the good stuff and the bad. Gradually I saw that there were good things happening to me every day. It really helped. 

The enabling team worked to help me to choose to eat a healthier diet and as I began to change what I was eating and to get some exercise, I started to lose weight. People noticed and cheered me on with every ounce I lost and I started to feel well and realised that I could make things in my life feel better if I wanted to. 

Over the last few of years I have felt much stronger and in control of who I am and what I do. I started finding ways to dress nicely that have made me feel good in myself. I’ve started going out, making friends with local people, playing bingo and having meals out. I even took a cookery course last year, I’ve learnt how to budget my money and I’ve even been abroad on holiday now! 

My next big thing to do is to start working. I would like to help care for other people. I’m starting with voluntary work and I’m beginning to feel much more confident that soon I’ll be able to find a job that’s just right for me. 

Joshua

Finding that special someone and a job are every one’s dream and I am no different, and now thanks to ubu I am well on my way to achieving both those dreams. 

I have been living with schizophrenia for many years and I was struggling at home because of my behaviours which were upsetting my family and making it hard to hold down a  college place. I have always been ambitious and ubu enablers listened to me and could see my potential and helped me to achieve it. I moved into my own home, supported by ubu two years ago to live more independently. 

Living alone was daunting at first, especially after spending most of my life up until then living with my family. The ubu enablers worked with me every step of the way to help me to make my new home comfortable, to feel safe and more confident about starting to live on my own. 

Once I got myself set up in my new flat, I decided to get my educational goals back on track. Going to college and keeping up with the work had always been a bit hit and miss. ubu enablers helped me to apply for and then successfully get, a place at my local college where I have started studying Maths and English. 

I realised from talking to other people and careers advisers that qualifications alone aren’t enough. I could see that I needed some work experience so that when I left college, hopefully with some useful qualifications to my name, I would also have something else to sing about that would make prospective employers more interested in considering me for their jobs. 

I did some research and found a few places I thought had jobs I might be interested in applying for. I got some good advice about how to put together a CV for myself and how to fill out application forms for jobs.  It was a brilliant success! I sent off my CV a few times and I was invited to an interview for a job I really liked the look of. I got the job! Now with a small amount of support from the ubu enabling team I have a part time job I really like doing during my college holidays, working as a grounds person in a churchyard. 

The great thing about working alongside others people in a team is that it builds your confidence. And that’s certainly been true for me. When I first started at college I didn’t tell anyone what it was like to have my job. Now they can’t shut me up!  I like talking to other people, sharing the good experience I’ve had. It helps me to build my confidence and makes me feel great to help other people with that too. 

So much so that when I met a young lady I liked I felt confident enough to introduce myself ask her out on a date.  We’re getting on fine, we really enjoy each other’s company and now we are planning our first holiday abroad together in the summer. By then I hope to have completed the college courses I have been doing and to have my maths and literacy qualifications. That will be a huge success for me, but I’m not going to stop there. Like I said I’m an ambitious person and I have already started applying for jobs at a supermarket, which would be the kind of work I would enjoy and be good at. I could talk to people all day and use all the skills I learned at college and in working part-time as part of the gardening team. It would be a dream come true for me. There are many other goals I’d like to go for in my life and so if you want to know what happens next watch this space! 

Kieran

I sometimes struggle with building up the motivation to go outside. This can mean that I end up at home a lot, even when I know it’s a nice day outside and that it would be nice to go for a walk.

Recently I spoke to ubu about this and through talking about what I enjoy, I decided it would be a great idea if I could get a camera, so that I had a specific reason for taking more trips out into the community.

It wasn’t long before I purchased one and that’s when the fun really started. I went out for a first few walks and found many things that I wanted to snap, as well as many places where I wanted to have my picture taken. This quickly developed into a passion. When I had my first pictures printed I realised how good the images I had taken were, and that I could go about making a scrapbook to document all my findings.

So now I find I am going out more and more. I want to see all kinds of new places so that I can capture them with my camera and then write a short piece of information whilst there, to put in my scrap book when I get home.

Now I have my new hobby I want to be more active, and I want to go to as many places as possible. I am motivated and inspired; two powerful feelings that will inevitably lead to a more fulfilling life!

Kirsty

I’m Kristy and I live with independence in my own home enabled by ubu. I have a lovely apartment in Leeds and I have been here for a few years now.

Before moving in, I lived at home with my parents. When I was planning to leave my family home I wanted to live somewhere I could feel safe and where people would support me to live the way I wanted to. I needed people to listen to me and help me in what I wanted to be helped with and achieve. I was given the opportunity to move into a ubu flat after reading about them on the internet. To find out more I arranged a meeting one of the enabling teams. I was really impressed by what I discovered and felt that I might have found what I was looking for and so I moved in the April of that year.

One of things I wanted right from the start of living with more independence was a job. I knew that wanted to get out more, meet people and make new friends. This was something that the ubu enabling team really understood from listening to me talk about what I wanted to do. They encouraged and helped me to find ways to succeed in my first goal. I found a volunteer group called the Morley Elderly Action Group. They help older people make connections with others and to make friends within their own community. They get together every week on Tuesdays so I went down to meet everyone and see if they liked me and I liked them. I felt that I needed 1:1 support at the beginning, so my ubu enabler came with me. I was really shy at first but having an enabler with me really helped to boost my confidence. I had a chat with a lady called Barbara who ran the group.  She was more than happy for me to help her as a volunteer. We arranged for me to go and help the following week.

The next Tuesday came and so with my enabler, I went along to the group meeting and was greeted by Barbara who was very pleased to see me. She made me a cup of tea and told me what my responsibilities would be. I would be helping to make teas and coffee, I would also help keep the kitchen tidy, drying the cups after someone else had washed them. Barbara and the others could see how shy I was and that I didn’t have much confidence. They made me feel very welcome and I really enjoyed my first day.

I have now been going for about 2 months and my confidence has grown massively. My responsibilities have also become bigger. I now help Barbara with taking the money when other people are paying for their drinks. Because I am now much more comfortable with everyone at the centre, I even know what some people want before they ask for it! I have asked if I can go to the centre without any enabling support in the future and we have all agreed that is the best way forward for me.

Spending the time at the Morley Elderly Action has not only helped me to get out and about but also helped me develop confidence and to find something positive to contribute in my local community.

Luis

Luis uses non-verbal means of communication and until recently relied heavily on Makaton and objects of reference to express his needs and wishes.

He decided to research new ways to expand his methods of communication as this would mean he could provide further clarity when discussing his needs and choices.

After investigating various options Luis was supported to buy an iPad and a communication app that uses pictures to convey messages. He has spent a lot of time choosing images and photos to add in to the software that will increase the ways he can use it.

At first Luis used the app to record pictures of meals and activities he particularly enjoyed so that he could display them as a quick method of communicating what he wanted. But as his ability to use the app improved he soon found he could use it to show images that express how he is feeling at any given moment.

Through use of the iPad and the communication programme Luis has gained a new level of independence and is happy that he can clearly communicate in new and effective ways.

The technology has not stopped there; he has also recently acquired a system that means he can close and open his curtains with the push of a button. This was something he had previously struggled with but now can do with ease and means he doesn’t have place as much reliance on support.

As you can imagine Luis is more than happy with his purchases and is looking forward to finding out what else he can do as he looks to a future with even greater independence.

Sandra

I have recently been discharged from hospital after nearly 8 weeks following having a PEG fitted. This has been a difficult time for me, but I had some great support from my family and ubu.

I decided it was time for this life changing operation because recently I had been feeling more and more poorly. My energy levels were always low and I could not enjoy my activities; some of which I had to miss out altogether. Yes it was safe to say that my quality of life had not been what it should be.

My family and ubu supported me all the way through the decision making process, as there are many things to consider with any operation, but particularly one such as this.

I am happy to report that I am now on the road to a full recovery. My rehabilitation is an on-going day to day process, but now I am back at home I can feel myself getting stronger every day. I am also now able to eat and drink without fear of becoming poorly and having to go back into hospital, which is great news.

Thanks to my PEG operation I am able to again enjoy my life and any activities which have been planned. I am also getting a new bright silver wheelchair which will aid me further with my rehabilitation and accessing the community.

It feels fantastic to be happy and well again. It’s great to be back home with my friends; together we are looking forward to a full and active future and I’m already planning my next adventure.

Susan

My name is Susan.

I have been with ubu for nearly 5 years. It hasn't always been perfect. But I wasn't always perfect.

Growing up, I used to associate with people who put me in unsafe situations. I didn't understand the negative effects these friendships caused, and thought only I knew what was best for me. I couldn't see the walls that I built up to protect myself were actually isolating and holding me back.

When I moved to the ubu support, I did not settle in at first. I didn't engage with staff or other consumers. I felt that I didn't need the support which was been provided for me by either ubu or the healthcare professionals. My health and wellbeing got worse and I returned again to the difficult situations which resulted in me not been very happy.

But my enablers didn't give up on me.

Over the past year I slowly allowed my walls to come down. Although it was hard to trust others  - it still is sometimes  - I let them in. We sat and discussed how they could support me to make things better and to help me feel better about myself. I now regularly accept guidance from my enabling team, who are working with me to help me develop a brighter future. And I feel this past year my life has turned around for the better because of it.

Whereas I used to feel very anxious and alone, which made me not want to socialise, I now frequently take part in many group outings such as a community social club, meals, bowling and day trips. I have begun to feel safer in my own home and with my support staff; this has meant that I stay in for and participate in meetings with professionals both in my care team and from support organisations, making decisions that benefit my life.

I am now looking forward to my future and learning all the new skills on which I previously missed out. I have learned to better budget my finances and access educational and career opportunities in the community. I currently attend a college course studying animal care. I really enjoy this and hope to build a career working with animals, instead of building walls!

Wayne

My name is Wayne. I live independently on the outskirts of Leeds in my own flat supported and enabled by ubu. I love my flat and since moving in I think that I have made some fantastic progress in my life.

In the past I found dealing with change difficult. A few months ago my neighbour moved away. I’d lived next door to him for a long time. His move really upset me.

I don’t have a lot of confidence and find it hard to make friends easily. He and I had become close friends and so when he left, I found myself having a lot of time on my hands. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt lonely and I didn’t like feeling like this. So I asked the ubu enabling team to help me to find new activities in my community so that I could feel less on my own and to gain confidence.

I needed to find new things I could become interested in and could do with other people. I wanted to meet new friends. I was finding it hard to leave my flat. So I knew if I wanted to change how I was feeling I should start off by taking small steps.

I began by taking trips to the nearby shops and around my local community. The ubu enabling team encouraged me to do this. It didn’t take long until I wanted to go further afield. I decided to take some trips down the canal through the centre of Leeds. After a few months of getting myself out there I even went to an 80’s weekend festival!

I love cooking, and so I took went to a Jamie Oliver Food workshop in Leeds Market where I learnt some new recipes and skills. It was great fun and I made some healthy meals and a sweet treat or two.

It was good chance for me to spend some time with other people and be a bit more sociable. I made a new friend there who it turns out, also lives in my building. We found that we have shared interests in common and we now spend a lot of time together. We regularly go out bowling and every week we have a friendly competition to see who will get the best score and to improve our game.

I have always been a massive Rugby fan. I support the Leeds Rhinos and I have started going to games at home and away.

I’m really proud of the progress I have made and where I am now in my life. I’ve got my confidence back and I’m planning even more adventurous days out in the future. I am starting to build friendships and take on new challenges. 

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Why not, sit back and read more about some of our great successes.

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