'Don't quack like a duck, soar like an eagle'
I thought our first Blog of 2018 would be a good time to reflect on last year - so here goes!
We got off to a flying start by moving into the brand new, purpose-built Centre for Independent Living and it really is a fantastic base to deliver our services. Special thanks to the staff in the Bistro for their support with our popular 'drop-ins'!
We had some fantastic outcomes through our Project 65 and Ricochet services, with people of all abilities and ages learning to use digital technology, but most importantly how the people used their new-found skills to access social media and reduce social isolation. We were absolutely delighted to be awarded funding for another year for Project 65 and our thanks go to Northgate Public Services, Hartlepool Borough Council and O2 for their continued support.
Our support of the Hartlepool Learning Disability Partnership Board continued in being the focal point of information sharing for people with Learning Disabilities, their Carers and professionals. There isn't room in the Blog to list all of the subjects covered in the meetings over the last year!
What an amazing group of people involved in the 'Voice for You' Advocacy Group are. Their commitment to being involved in local and national issues that impact on the lives of people with Learning Disabilities and Autism is remarkable. Not only are they the 'go to' people to participate in consultation, they now deliver 'Opening Eyes' Training to their peers and will shortly be visiting the University Hospital of Hartlepool to carry out 'Quality Health Checks'! If I wore a hat, I'd take it off to them!
In November we secured the contract to host the Hartlepool Advocacy Hub and it's great to see this valuable service brought back to our town. If you're not really sure about the work we do as the Hub, then please check out our dedicated website where you can see the roles of different Advocates and be able to download referral forms if required www.hartlepooladvocacyhub.com
On the one sad note of 2017, we lost our friend and volunteer Kim who passed away following a short illness. Kim was a popular member of our team and is sadly missed.
Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Directors, staff, volunteers and all stakeholders for your continued support of our work in Hartlepool and we look forward with excitement to 2018!
My wings are aching and the eagle has landed!