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Mana Whaikaha update November 2nd

As we undertake what is now quickly becoming our day to day work we have the benefit of having the Enabling Good Lives principles as our guide for decision making.

Two of these principles, “ordinary life outcomes” and “mainstream first”, are proving to be particularly useful to us as we are now getting an increasing number of funding proposals underway.

It is really encouraging for us to see that disabled people and families are themselves identifying ways in which, by engaging more in the ordinary places and opportunities of community, they can improve their lives. It is also wonderful for us to have access to a small amount of immediate resourcing which means we can respond to these opportunities and begin to make a difference very quickly.

Just one example from this week was a young man who had been receiving a supported living service from a provider, but was finding his life becoming determined and restricted by the constraints placed on paid supports. With the help of his family and his Connector, he could see how he could get his life back.

Rather than continuing to seek paid supports he has been assisted to get his bike roadworthy. He has no car or access to public transport so now he can use his bike to get into town instead of being restricted to when he could afford a taxi. An annual ticket to the swimming pool means he can maintain his physical wellbeing and a koha to a local community organisation assists him with skill development.

All of the principles of Enabling Good Lives are being met with such a simple investment. This young man has been able to re-engage with roles he had previously held, develop some skills that would enable him to become more self-sufficient in his home, and because of a recent health issue, maintain his physical fitness and health.

One of the other major pieces of work we have embarked on this week is our safeguarding vulnerable people framework. While much development is still required here, we have been able to begin to work with a family around some deep concerns for their family member. We are a very long way from having these concerns adequately addressed, but at least a process has been started. I would like to offer a quote from the dad as he left this meeting.

“I feel really positive about this whole process. It has been really positive right from the beginning.”

We will persevere until we have a resolution for this family, even if all we are really offering at this time is hope and trust that the system might deliver for them and their daughter.