This is a guest blog written by three of our seven new Ambassadors, Dipan, Phoebe and Paul, who were working with Lyn Griffiths, our Support and Engagement Manager. The Ambassadors are our first team members who use Shared Lives themselves. Their roles include peer review, raising awareness and improving the Shared Lives model. They write:
We are writing this in the Shared Lives Plus office, it feels like our first day at work. Is it good? It feels a bit strange, but Paul thinks it’s like home from home! Lyn worries about us being supported in the right way so we can all be part of the team. Lyn worries way too much LOL! We are part of the team. Lyn needs to back off a little bit, because she worries too much about us, but it’s part of her job.
Lyn is learning to understand how we like to be supported. As Ambassadors we are all becoming more independent and more confident.
Yesterday we were working on a charter for people who use Shared Lives. People like us. This is so Shared Lives carers can understand how people who use Shared Lives want to be supported.
It will be called My rights in Shared Lives: the Ambassadors’ test.
We have been thinking a lot about rights and responsibilities.
This has been making us think about Shared Lives and how we are supported.
Last night we had a laugh but we also had an interesting conversation with some Shared Lives carers.
They said we are vulnerable adults.
We said everyone is vulnerable in certain situations.
Sometimes the people paid to care for us worry too much. They need to back off too, just a little bit.
We have a right to be treated like any other adult.
We know you worry but you are not our parents. You are not our mum and dad!
We are adults not children.
One of the things we decided yesterday was all professionals need to back off a little bit and treat us like adults.
Being an adult is taking responsibility for ourselves.
If you back off just a little bit we can do this and we can be responsible for learning how to be the best that we can.