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Happy, healthy, and taking part: Emma’s positive journey

Emma sitting at her kitchen table, wearing a green fleece and holding a mug of tea

This week we’re acknowledging Emma’s achievements in getting more involved in her community, making new friends, trying new things, and generally making sure she is happier and enjoying life her way.

Motivation

The past few years have been a bit lonely for many people. Lockdowns and living alone have made it that way. Emma knows this feeling all too well. Sometimes, the less you do, the less you want to do.

Without the right support and encouragement, and without opportunities to get involved, it becomes normal to stay at home and not meet new people or have those important daily chats we all need. Emma lives in her own place, which she enjoys. She has a pet budgie that keeps her company, and she even uses her Amazon Echo to play music for her feathered friend throughout the day!

Joining Take Charge

Emma studying at a desk, pen in hand, looking thoughtfully over a worksheet
Emma stood in a park taking a photo of a tree with her phone

Last year, Emma was introduced to our Take Charge project, ran by our Skills and Wellbeing Team. This project has made a big difference in her life. She joined a group that meets every Friday to learn about and focus on a new topic each week. It was during these meet-ups that Emma found people who share her interests and values, and things have been getting better for her ever since. Even though she sometimes feels nervous, she started saying yes to invitations and taking small but meaningful steps to expand her social circle.

Emma has accomplished quite a few things so far. She has received certificates in Emergency First Aid, Introduction to Makaton, and Introduction to Welsh. She has also enjoyed practical sessions, such as our 4-week photography course and making Bug boxes for her garden.

Dancing and shining with Shiny Happy People

After meeting up with this great group of people each week, Emma feels a sense of belonging and connection that has helped her feel more confident and less isolated.  Additionally, she has also become a regular at SVC‘s mid-week feel-good session with Shiny Happy People. In this session, everyone gets to dance their socks off to pop classics in the middle of the day.  A brilliant way to shake off any tiredness and have a great time with friends.

2 people side by side on a dancefloor enthusiastically dancing and playing air guitar

Sharing ideas and making a difference

Emma sat with Lisa, both looked at a laptop and smiling

As well as all the fun things, Emma has become a key contributor in our Participation team’s Taking Part group. These monthly sessions are an excellent opportunity for the people we support to have their say, share their ideas, catch up with friends, and keep up to date with what is going on in their area. Emma shared some great ideas recently that helped shape the new Complaints Policy. Her suggestions about implementing a colour-coded chart to describe the seriousness of a situation made us all wonder why we had not been doing it this way all along. Thank you, Emma!

Emma recently starred in a video about the opportunities we have at Innovate Trust that premiered at the Better Together conference last month, held at the beautiful Rhondda Heritage Hotel.

This conference was an opportunity for us to get together with other support providers in Rhondda Cynon Taf, including Cartrefi Cymru and Drive, to share positive stories from the past year and hopes for the future all working together.

Emma allowed us to film some Makaton signs while talking to Project Officer, Libby about what she has achieved on the project. You can watch the video by clicking the link on the right.

We look forward to hearing what Emma gets up to this summer and her plans for the following year. Undoubtedly, we will call on her again for more great ideas and contributions! Good luck, Emma.

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