It’s that time of year where traditionally we reflect on what’s happened over the previous 12 months and start thinking about the goals and outcomes we want to achieve for the forward year. I write this on December 21st, the time of the Winter Solstice where we naturally draw everything inward making reflection and evaluation even more pertinent.
Looking back over the past year it is evident that You First has much to celebrate as an organisation however, even more importantly we share in the successes and celebrations of the people who use You First as they realise their own personal ambitions and goals. You First has supported people to take steps forward, move on with their lives, achieve many things and as a result not only get more from life but contribute more to their local community as a result. People with learning disabilities and/or autism are moving on from being recipients of services and becoming active citizens within their local communities.
I only have space to share a very brief snapshot of the progress individuals have achieved over the past 12 months, but these, among many others include:
- Passing the theory part of a driving test, taking driving lessons and working toward passing the practical
- Bringing health conditions under control through managed diet and exercise
- Regaining self-care and domestic skills
- Chairing their own team meetings thus further increasing choice and control over the support they receive
- Gaining employment
- Gaining voluntary roles
- Overcoming social anxiety to establish meaningful community connections
- People needing less paid support as genuine community connections are established
- Self-esteem, self-image & self-belief increasing
- Successfully moving to a new house and settling up a new home
- Developing positive family relationships
- Becoming confident is using public transport
- Increasing Avon round by 30%
- Moving out of hospital setting into community living
- Establishing routines and structures that support independent living and that reduce dependency upon paid support
- Moving out of residential setting to community living
So there is much to celebrate as 2018 draws to a close.
Like all of us the people we support are ambitious for themselves and You First both shares and embraces that ambition. As we move from reflection to goal setting we are working with people to create stepping stones toward realising those personal goals with the ultimate outcome of increasing independence, moving from community presence to community connection and seeing people genuinely growing and building their lives not because of particular Government Drivers but because of individual aspiration.
2019 is going to be even more exciting that the previous year!
So may I please take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past 12 months. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and I wish you all you wish for yourself in 2019.
Chief Executive Officer
You First Support Services CIC
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