Gavin recalls a year when there was a lot of change in his life!
There has been a lot of changes in my life this year. The biggest change was moving into my new home in Tallaght. Moving into this new home meant that I have some more independence in my life. Independence means that the more I get to do things on my own the more better I get in life. When I moved I got some new staff who I like working with and also kept some of my old staff too. I like singing karaoke and having the privacy to do this in my own home. This year I have also achieved more hours in my job. I also achieved membership of St. Joseph’s social club and met more friends. I now go bowling in south Metro Special Olympics club in Palmerstown where I also met new friends. If I had not come to live in Tallaght I probably would not have met any of these new friends. I achieved a lot and next year is going to be even better because I am going to make it better.
The team leader who supports Gavin shares his perspective on Gavin's year.
Living in a house of his own had been a goal of Gavin’s for a few years. In September 2014 Gavin realised this goal when he moved into his new house. This realisation of Gavin’s goal involved a lot of planning between staff, Gavin and Gavin’s family.
One of the challenges we faced was that of balancing Gavin’s level of independence with ensuring his safety. While Gavin no longer has sleepover staff, his residence is beside a house that is staffed at night by WALK, so that Gavin can avail of staff support if he requires it. We have employed the use of assistive technology also to help manage this balance of independence and safety. These supports combine to provide a sense of safety for Gavin, his family and WALK.
Before moving in, staff spoke with Gavin about what support he wanted from those who would be working with him. Gavin informed us that he wanted to be more active in the community and wanted to join social club, a Special Olympics sports club and a local gym. Gavin also identified that he wanted to learn more cooking skills so that he could cook meals for himself. Gavin has a small team of familiar and new staff who have supported him with these goals. The team also support Gavin with budgeting weekly household finances, paying his bills, doing weekly grocery shopping and ensuring that Gavin’s house is a place where Gavin can entertain friends and family when he wishes.
We recognise that a person’s life evolves constantly and that their needs and wants can continuously change and as such, we regularly talk with Gavin about his supports to ensure that they are meeting his expectations. Gavin says he is enjoying his new living arrangements and the independence it offers him. He is linked in with specific clubs and his employment continues to be a great success.
- Described by Cillian, Team Leader, WALK