Ummair - moving into independent living

Ummair studies Independent Living Skills and Digital Skills at Share. He also attends a number of additional personal development classes such as creative writing.

When he joined Share in 2006 he had just left Lambeth College. He was exceptionally quiet, and certainly never initiated conversations. That started to change when he joined the digital skills group. Robert asked him what he was interested in. Ummair whispered that he liked cricket, and was interested in the weather. Robert showed him how to get the weather forecast through the internet, and also how to check the cricket scores. Now Ummair had something to talk about, and a way into conversations with other people. We all started to rely on Ummair to tell us what the weather was going to do, so that we knew what to wear! Share is full of cricket fans, and there’s a gentle rivalry between fans of various teams, so his knowledge of current cricket scores made Ummair central to conversations about the sport.

When his Lambeth College tutor came to visit after Ummair had been at Share for a year, she couldn’t believe that he was the same young man she’d taught. He was at the centre of conversations, smiling, showing off his new mobile phone. The next thing to have a major impact on Ummair was our Go Anywhere, Do Anything project. He seized the opportunity to go out and about, particularly enjoying the sporting events, including crazy golf. Most excitingly, he got to go to watch cricket at Lords and the Oval. His family was very supportive, which is always a massive factor in our students’ success and growth. We saw him grow in confidence, make new friends, and increase his independence, both in terms of making choices for himself and in travelling.

Then last year, Ummair started talking about wanting to leave home and live more independently. Sohail Edwin, of CLIA Care, was opening a new supported living house in Putney, and as soon as Ummair saw the pictures, he declared that he wanted to live there. The only thing that he saw as a potential obstacle was if he didn’t get on with the other residents, so he asked to meet them before we began to talk with his family. Once he’d had several meetings and visited the house, he gave Share’s wellbeing team the go ahead to talk to his parents. They were a bit taken aback, but as always supported their son’s decision. But all was not plain sailing. He had to apply to the Council for funding, and they tried to persuade him to accept a cheaper option. But Ummair held out for the place he wanted, and after a lot of negotiation, and with the continued support of our wellbeing team, the placement was agreed. Ummair started to spend weekends at his new home, getting used to being in his own space and doing more things for himself. He also learnt to travel independently, learning the routes between his new house and his family’s home and Share.

So now Ummair is living in a flat he’s chosen, looking after himself, doing his own cleaning, washing, and cooking, getting himself to his course at Share and to his family at the weekend. We’re all immensely proud of what he’s achieved and the distance he’s travelled. He’s a really lovely, friendly, helpful young man, and he has a great future ahead of him. What has made the difference? Well, he really wanted change. Our person-centred approach enabled him to speak for himself and increasingly advocate for himself. We followed his interests, which is always a great start. And his family was brilliant, and supported his ambitions, however scary it seemed at the time.

Check out the video of Ummair in his new home:

Ummair - moving into independent living

What Ummair has to say

I moved out of Mum and Dad’s house and now I live in Putney. I live with housemates and staff. We have our own room but we have to share the bathroom and the kitchen. I cook at home. Cooking with Kenny at Share helped me to cook at home. Everybody is good there. Every weekend I go to see my Mum. I stay at home with my housemates. Sometimes we go out with them. We go to eat and we go to Tesco to get some shopping.

Share told me how I could live independently. Keesha told me I could move to Putney and helped to find my house. 

I used to have a travel buddy but I learned to travel and now I travel by myself. I catch the number 37 bus to Share.

At Share I have learned to talk about my feelings and about making choices.

Share is good and nice. I like all the people.

What Ummair's Student Star tells us

Ummair has made steady strides in most of the nine areas of the Student Star since his first assessment was carried out in 2015. In 2015, Ummair was assessed to be at the ‘Stable’ stage in journey towards independence. In particular under Living skills, Ummair was assessed to be at Stage 5 in his journey, which meant that although he was well supported in this area, there was room for him to grow in independence. Ummair had very clear goals in that he to move into supported living accommodation and to travel independently to and from Share, and that he wanted to work on over the next couple of years.

Through support received from his family and staff at Share, Ummair has worked on grasping the skills needed to live more independently. As a part of his learning in Share's Independent Living Skills, Ummair gained a qualification in ‘Preparing a Simple Meal’. Ummair took part in a six-week programme which involved shopping and preparing home cooked meals including, roasted vegetable couscous, and sweet potato with tzatziki salad. To achieve this unit, Ummair demonstrated that he was able to select and prepare ingredients for a healthy meal.

Fast forward three years, Ummair has achieved two major personal goals: he has transitioned from his family home into supported living accommodation, and in the run up towards to his big move, Ummair achieved his goal of travelling to and from Share independently.

Ummair is enjoying living in his new home. He particularly enjoys cooking meals his own meals, as well as going for walks in the park with his housemates in the evening. Although, Ummair enjoys his new found independence he still enjoys going back to his family home on weekend to spend time with them. 

As a result of Ummair’s many successes over the past two years, he has now been assessed at Stage 7 which is the ‘Learning for yourself’ stage in his journey towards independence. This means that Ummair is now actively using the skills has learned over the past couple of years to enable him to live more independently.

So now we are working with Ummair to achieve his next major goal – in area of work readiness – and that is to gain volunteering experience at Oval Cricket Ground!

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