Welcome to the Expanding Worlds Podcast
Solo episode this week where I talk about what I’ve learnt in the conversations I’ve had as part of the Grace Eyre Profile Series. This has been about acknowledging the past, celebrating the present and focusing on the future. Supporting our children towards a better future needs to be a joined up approach and this is why hearing from organizations like Grace Eyre who offer that more holistic support is a useful resource for all of us as we support our children on their journeys.
Everyone should have the right to decide their own future but too often people with additional needs simply aren’t given a voice. In this episode my two guests are Cleo Dibb, the Our Voices Manager and Jenny Good who was involved in the Rethink Disability campaign. Both are discussing the imperative of giving people the opportunity to share their lived experience, be listened to and be actively involved in all the decisions that impact on their lives.
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
Why without Visibility there will never be Real Awareness, Genuine Understanding and Actual Inclusion
When was the last time you met someone, and you really weren’t sure what to say or do? How did it make you feel? Confused? A bit fearful that you might say the wrong thing? Why did this happen? Was it because you didn’t really understand how to interact with this person? Was it because you had never met anyone like them before?
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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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.
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.