Working towards independence and individual choice
Over the last few years, I have been regularly visiting clients from our service who have become members of the Community. It’s been a priviledge to witness the return of hope, meaning and self-respect to the lives of our clients living there and to be working in partnership with an organization that really understands the value & meaning of community & Recovery.
The importance of social & working relationships
Living in the Community is about developing supportive, meaningful relationships with one another. You are encouraged to feel secure in voicing your suggestions and concerns, knowing you will be listened to.
Our high staffing ratios enable service users to pursue active, varied and fulfilling lifestyles that reflect their individual interests. People who live with us are able to participate in our Community’s programme of activities, which aims to offer something for everyone. Some examples of activities offered are moorland and coastal walks, cycling, surfing, caving, climbing, sailing and horse-riding. Also gentler pursuits such as singing, music and other creative arts and cookery are offered. All activities are led by appropriately qualified people.
In addition to these activities, people are supported in pursuing individual hobbies and interests. Some examples include education with both academic and vocational subjects being studied and also visits to cinemas and theatres, dining out, playing snooker and help with gaining work experience or pursuing other cultural or religious interests.
Domesticity also plays an important part in Community life, the Community doesn’t employ cooks or cleaners for the houses. The people who live with us and staff work together to keep the house and gardens tidy and clean. Shopping and meal preparation are also shared with a strong emphasis on teamwork.
The primary aims of The Community in supporting those in our care include the following:
- To offer care and rehabilitation in a safe, structured, domestic environment.
- To create an atmosphere in which problems and disabilities cease to be the defining elements.
- To make possible a natural integration with normal society.
- To promote autonomy, self-determination and freedom of action.
- To encourage a genuine and equal social interaction between staff and residents.
- To create an environment that promotes individual personality and does not de-personalise individuals.
Most people have come from some form of institutional support but their problems and experience can be very different. What unites everyone is the desire to move on and get on with their life – living again with the ordinary dynamics of life, living together with people and all the interaction and support that goes with that, relating to each other as equals, exercising choices and coping with responsibilities that come with it.