"A Step in the Right Direction”

By William Roberts

I started in Prosper Fingal in 1992 and was based in Skerries before it become the “Head Office” which it is now known as.

 

My life has developed since I did the “My Rights Project” jointly by Prosper Fingal and St. Michael’s House supported by staff members Emer and Siobhan and I loved taking part in this Project. I went on from there to be part of an anti-bullying group with Emer however, now I am part of this on an independent basis.

 

We have carried out an Anti Bullying Workshop in different parts of Ireland supported by NIID/Trinity College. I have attended conferences in England, twice in Dublin and as far away as Capetown, South Africa which yielded a poster prize and a trip to Rome in Italy in October 2010. We all work well together in the group moving forward in the years that lie ahead. This project led to me taking part in another Research Project run by NIID/Trinity College.

 

I am also very interested in poetry, reading and writing it. I have also written the odd play and I am currently in the process of writing my life story, which had me write part of my life story in the British Journal of Learning Disibilities in England. I have an interest in Sport and Journalism and have had for many years.

Supports in Prosper Fingal

My key worker is Laura and she supports me in many ways with my life goals. With Laura, I also do key working every Friday morning and this is a way of keeping her up to date on how things are for me at home and in Prosper Fingal. The Social Worker I deal with in Prosper Fingal is Loraine Hone, who helps me around how I’m feeling and if I have any worries. Loraine supports me around those issues and both herself and my key worker Laura are both a phone call away if I need them. Recently I had help and support from a staff member called Cliona who came to my home once every 2 weeks and helped with cooking and that continued for a short while in place of another staff member called Susan who was on maternity leave. I am also doing policy work with Service Users in the Rush Centre as requested by the Centre Manager ¯ Paula.

Speak Up Committee

I am Vice-Chairperson of the Speak Up Group Committee in Rush. We work on behalf of the Service Users in the Centre, and make sure all people have their say. We also organise Social Events, for example Summer Trip in Centre and Annual Autumn Ball. We have been working on behalf of Service Users about a new bus stop and bus shelter through Dublin Bus for the Rush Community. Recently we have been trying to promote using Lámh in the Centre. Lámh is a form of sign language used by people to communicate. The Speech and Language Team in Prosper Fingal completed a workshop for staff and service users in the Rush Centre. The Speak Up Group Committee meetings take place every Wednesday and in the big meeting room every month the whole Speak Up Group – all the Service Users – get together.  It’s a way of speaking up within the Rush Centre about the needs of everyone.

Achievements

I won a Gold Medal in the Special Olympics in the Eastern Regional Games and have been selected in the Ireland Games in Limerick June 2010 at Bocce. The Respite Team in Prosper Fingal have supported in the preparation and organisation for this event. Pat Reen requested that I give a talk to the Parents / Carers and staff of Prosper Fingal Service Users regarding “Independent Living” at the Carnegie Court Hotel in Swords. As a service user at Prosper Fingal this was a great honour.