Profile – Kenny, Manchester
Creative Support has been supporting me for 7 years now. Before this I was drinking and getting into fights and had to keep moving, living in different houses. I was not happy with my family and in trouble with the police.
At Creative Support I lived with other guys and they became my friends. Creative Support helped me to plan for my life, now I can do my medication myself, I enjoy meeting friends, I have learnt alot through going to college and I have a provisional driving licence for my car, I have worked in the dogs’ home and I go on holiday lots with my friends. When I went to Howe Top and we did rock climbing, fishing and riding on motorbikes. I had fun and I now I can drink beer and not get into fights.
When my support workers could see that I could do all these things, Claire sat down with me and talked about moving on and we planned how I was going to get my own place and I now have my own place. We drew a plan out and Claire helped me. I was doing it on my own but sometimes I made mistakes. I had a picture of my house and a picture of a dog. There is only one problem, not allowed a dog in the house, but I am getting back into working with them at the dogs’ home.
I wanted to stay in the same area, near my friends and I can still get to work at the dogs’ home. It took ages to find the right house, but we did and Creative Support got it. I chose my own bedroom. I had a double bedroom to myself and planned to get a washing machine, the cooker was already there and so was the fridge. I planned to get my own TV. I was going to paint my front room different colours, that was another plan. Joan, my Support Worker, got me a colour paint chart so that I could choose which I liked. When I sat down with Joan I planned my own ideas and I said I wanted to get rid of the garden grass and make it flagged. The garden was too much trouble, cutting the grass. Every time it was cut the rain made it bigger.
Me, Claire and Joan sat down together and we worked out my support when I moved into the house. I still had sleep-ins but gradually that was knocked down and when I felt comfortable about sleeping on my own I stopped that. I think I am getting really better. Now sometimes I do not want the staff, I was getting bored so I thought to myself that I need to help myself. The times of when I get support, I cut this down as well. If I get stuck they help me, they are there if I need them.
I have a camera phone on my front door so that I can see who is there because I got attacked some time ago. Creative Support put the camera phone there and it makes me feel easier with the camera as I was a little bit nervous when on my own.
Life today, support workers come when I want them to come. I go to college and I am comfortable with going on my own. I have quite a few jobs coming round soon so I am busy and I am helping people. I may become a worker soon with Manchester People First. They asked me to join and I do audits with them and help other people. I look after the dogs at the rescue centre, but I have to change for my college on different weeks. I socialise with my mates Russell, Brian and John who I used to live with and throughout the year we go on holiday. I do my own shopping at Asda or Tesco. I look after my own money, my support workers help me make sure that my bills get paid on time, then I have my own money and I can spend it on what I like. I am going to Blockbusters later to get a computer game.
I feel really happy I have got everything now. Before I didn’t have it but now I have.
Creative Support does things the right way. The right way is helping people by listening and not interrupting. When I am helping in interviews for new staff, this is what I look for. And I look for a good sense of humour. You ask them how they would help you to become independent, and ‘how would you help me with my money and if I am upset or angry how would you help me?’ You listen to them. You listen to them and they listen to you. They need to let us know that they are there for us if we are stuck.
I have also gone to meetings with Anna Lunts [Chief Executive] on the train. We went to talk about what Creative Support is like, to tell people who did not know and to meet people who might ask Creative Support to support them. I have been to a few of these meetings; I am waiting for another one. I can tell them, in the past there was nothing and now there is a future.
Kenny climbed Ben Nevis in April this year; an incredible personal achievement as the route can be dangerous and difficult even for regular mountain climbers. Kenny trained hard, completing many walking and camping trips before successfully taking on and reaching the top of Ben Nevis.
It was Kenny’s sheer determination that got him to the top, which also reflects his resilience and commitment to bettering himself and proving others wrong. He is amazing!