How we empowered Chloe to find her independence

By Emma Somerville, 4 October 2016 , Comments

Our support worker, Emma, has worked with Chloe for two years, supporting her to become the best she can be. Read Emma’s account of Chloe’s journey to independence.

 “When I first met Chloe back in 2014 she was a very quiet, passive young lady. Chloe had never really been given the opportunity to make choices and decisions so far in her life and this was obvious when speaking with her and determining some of her goals for the future. A lot of the time Chloe would answer questions with ‘Whatever you want to do’ or ‘I’m not really sure’. It was clear that Chloe was very timid and unsure of herself.

Chloe expressed to me that she wanted to learn how to cook so that one day she might be able to live on her own, or maybe even cook for her family. We set about finding recipes and things that Chloe would be interested in trying to make. Within a few weeks, Chloe had gone from having no experience in the kitchen, to planning meals for lunch every time I worked with her.

Once she had mastered the basics of the kitchen, she began talking about other things that she wanted to achieve in her life. One of those was losing some weight. Chloe asked if we could go walking some times on our shifts and I was more than happy to explore Newcastle with her, so off we went. Within a month Chloe had gained so much confidence, that she took it upon herself to join a gym. Chloe, all on her own I might add, has lost an incredible amount of weight and become even fitter than she ever thought she could be. She runs laps around me now!

Chloe also had her learner’s permit when I first met her and was extremely nervous driving a car. As her confidence grew it showed in every aspect of her life, she finished her learner driver lessons and got her provisional license, and even bought herself a car. She’s spent the last two years paying that car off, out of her own money and has become so much more confident with her driving abilities, even mastering the dreaded reverse park!

These days Chloe is barely ever at home, whether she’s out visiting friends, going to the gym or volunteering her time for other organisations, she’s always on the go! Every time she achieved something new or overcome a new obstacle, I have watched her come out of her shell a little bit more and proudly celebrate her achievements.

I’m always excited to see what Chloe has planned for us each week now. She no longer gives me answers like ‘I’m not sure’ and ‘Whatever you want to do’. Now she knows what she wants to be doing and how to achieve it.

Recently Chloe decided she is ready to start her working life and get her first job! So this year we’re really focussing on getting some training and skills in horsemanship and horse care, as Chloe wants nothing more than to have a job working with horses. With this also comes the idea of becoming more independent and having enough money to do more of the things she loves. So hopefully with some support along the way, Chloe will achieve this by the end of the year!

The timid, passive girl I met years ago has blossomed into a vibrant, confident, happy-go-lucky young woman, and I couldn’t be prouder!”

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