Welcome to the Expanding Worlds Podcast
Getting into paid employment is a major challenge for people with additional needs. Programs that support people to develop their employability skills and enable them to break down the barriers into work play an essential role. In this episode with Evie Halligan and Stuart Leaney we discuss the Work Buddy and Let’s Work Together projects run at Grace Eyre, how these operate, the challenges, the successes and why getting into paid work is so important
One of the core skills for an independent life is independent travel. At Grace Eyre the Travel Buddy Project focuses on supporting people to develop the confidence, self awareness and knowledge they need to travel independently. In this episode with Gary Cunningham, the Travel Buddy Team Leader, we are discussing exactly how the scheme works and the impact it has on increasing the opportunities
Social interactions are an essential part of being human, providing us with connections and often a purpose. In this episode with Jenny Good from the Friendship Group and Colleen Maytham and Mario Antoon from Active Lives we explore the ways to make and keep these connections and the increasingly important role of technology in helping bring people together to explore common interests and support each other.
How many friends do you have? Possibly not as many as you had before you had a child with additional needs. This is a harsh but true fact. Friends slowly disappear because they don’t understand or they’re afraid. I have both lost and gained friends because my daughter has additional needs. It’s a bit like when someone passes away some people come around others stay away because they don’t know what to say.
My ultimate objective is to get rid of my daughter. That’s not quite as bad as it sounds! My goal is to enable my youngest daughter to move out and live in a place of her own. When I have spoken on the podcast to people involved in training programs, one common theme has been that often the young people that come to them lack some of the basic daily living skills.
What’s in a part time or Saturday job? An awful lot, I believe, if you’re a young person with additional needs. I should qualify that by acknowledging that for some young people there will be restrictions on the kind of jobs they can hold down because of the nature of their needs.
Young people with additional needs should have the opportunity to live independently in a way right for them. The podcast is about sharing stories and sharing solutions that enable parents and carers to support them on this path to greater independence.
Independence for most people consists of three things:
1) Having a Purpose for the day – usually paid employment, but possibly a place to go to make a contribution to the world.
2) Having the Daily Living skills for independence – being able to look after ourselves, cooking, shopping.
3) Having Relationships with family, friends and maybe even a partner one day.
There is also an additional consideration that serves as the foundation of all these – Financial Security. Like it or not money often dictates how we live our lives, and we need to confront the issue of how our children will survive financially when we are gone.
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Sharing our lives is what we all do but often we don’t realize the impact we can have on other people’s lives. In this episode with David Matthews – Head of Service Shared Lives we are talking about what the Shared Lives scheme is all about and exactly how it works. We also discuss why it is such an effective way to support people to progress towards more independent living as well as why it offers a powerful way to fight social isolation and promote inclusion.
Having the right to choose how we live our lives is a fundamental human right and one that in the past many people with additional needs haven’t been given. In this episode with Paul Barker – Head of Service, Choices Brighton & Hove at Grace Eyre we discuss how to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to choose their own future. We also talk about the importance of expectations and how that is driving change.
Moving into a place of our own is a major life event. For a person with additional needs it can often be the first significant step on their journey to greater independence. Just what that place might look like and how it all works is the focus of this episode with Chris Hill, Head of Housing & Estates at Grace Eyre. Chris explains the different housing options that are available. He also talks about how housing preferences and the level of support needed