Life is great, life is fantastic!

Active friendships and good relationships with the people around you are vital to anybody being able to enjoy a good life. Having a variety of people around you can make a big difference when times are good and when things can also get tough. As part of National Learning Disability Week 2016, we asked John what having a wide group of friends and many different relationships means to him.

… with my family

 

“I am the baby of the family, the youngest of 6. We are very close and get together regularly which I like because I remember mum and dad when we are all together. They support me in lots of different ways and make me feel very happy. They help me with things like my money and finances, especially now I am in a paid job. I am very proud of my family and what they all do. When I was unwell in hospital, they were always with me and I was really grateful for them being there. I was scared and confused about what happened, and they took time to make sure I understood everything.

My family mean everything to me. We laugh together and cry together, both happy and sad tears and without them it would be very tough for me.”

 

… with my friends

 

“I am lucky that I know a lot of people, some I have known for a long time and some who I haven’t known as long, including people with learning disabilities and without. It is fantastic having so many people around me, we do lots of things together. My friends with learning disabilities support each other a lot because we understand each other well. Some people know me by my disability or from having Down’s Syndrome, but my friends know me as a person which means a lot.

At my 50th birthday, 150 people were there – family, friends, colleagues, lots of people! It felt fantastic knowing that all of those people in the room were there for me and knowing that I have so many people around me makes me very happy. I am more confident when I have people to do things with. I like being around people, without my friends I’d be very sad and fed up. I wouldn’t do as much as I do now and would sit and twiddle my fingers all day. Without people around me I would be bored, bored, bored, bored, bored!”

 

… at work

 

“I am involved with lots of different things at work which is good because I like to work hard on different projects. My work is really important to me because it gives me a clear voice to speak on behalf of people with learning disabilities. I’ve met lots of new people and made lots of friends at work and it makes me feel proud to talk to them about my family and my friends. I feel respected by my colleagues and it makes me feel really important. People understand me at work, they understand how I work and push me to do new things and think of new ideas.

It is important for people to work, especially when people with learning disabilities are given the chance. It makes me feel the same as everyone else. I love my job, I have lots of fun doing it.”

 

… the people around me

 

“It is important to me that the people around me – family, friends, colleagues and others – get on and work together. I like things to be calm and relaxed otherwise, if people don’t get on, it makes me feel anxious and worried. I don’t like it. It is important that people talk to each other and talk to me, not just about me. When I went into hospital, my sisters didn’t find out straight away so I was upset and they were upset. When everyone talks to each other and gets on, things are much better for me.”

 

… anything else you would like to add John?

 

“For me, life is great, life is fantastic! I am busy and I feel welcomed wherever I go. I feel that people respect me and I know that I am helping people to respect others with learning disabilities as well, which makes me happy.”

John’s Autumn news blog

Welcome to my Autumn blog

I was nominated for an excellence award at the start of the year!

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We have been working hard to develop the work we are doing with the University of West London (UWL). We held our first Look Here event in the summer and launched our Eye and Vision strategy – we are planning a larger event with UWL in October.

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We helped organise a healthy lifestyles event in Ealing. Over 100 people came and could talk to specialists about how they can keep healthy in a way they can understand.

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Here I  am on the train on my way to do a talk about what Certitude do to achieve the social care provider’s health charter in September at a national conference.

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We continue to support the newly merged London northwest hospitals and look forward to doing Treat Me Right! work with Northwick Park, as we have with Ealing Hospital.

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I help out with planning Cut a Rug – these have been brilliant!

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We went to Thorpe Park with the Learning Disability Awareness Trainers for our team development day.  We all had great fun.

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John Keaveny’s summer 2014 blog

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It’s been such a busy year for Treat Me Right, I hardly know where to start!

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Elsa and I had a stall at The Big Event.  All the staff from Certitude came to see what everyone does in the organisation.
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Earlier on in the year I was nominated for a National Learning Disability Award and was a runner up for the trainers category. It was fantastic. Elsa who runs the project, told me “you will always be our winner” which means so much to me.

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Treat Me Right has also been busy recruiting new Learning Disability Awareness trainers who have begun to do a lot of work with West London Uni. It has been great and people have been offered a lot of paid work with the university. Its very exciting.

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JK5aLove your heart was a great success offering lots of health advice to people in a fun and accessible way.

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JK6aTreat Me Right also did a lot of work with the community dentist this year after the consultation with people in Ealing. The project did an easy read information pack about the dentists.

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John Keaveny blog April 2014

JK-2013-4My name is John and I work a health trainer with Treat Me Right! as part of the health team. I regularly meet different groups of professionals and teach them how to support people who have learning disabilities better, especially when using health care services.

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TVU phot0Its really good fun, I recently trained over 100 student nurses at West London University. I used a microphone to ask people their views and to find out what they had learned.

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Treat Me Right! Championss

They gave us really good feed back and said they felt were more confident to support patients who have learning disabilities and autism.

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Health Sub group

I have recently become the chair of Ealing Partnership Board’s Health Sub Group. We meet regularly to plan how improvements can be made to health services in Ealing and work out who we can get to help us do this.

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John & Esther

I make sure everyone follows the agenda and keeps to time, and I also tell the group what I think people with learning disabilities might think about things and what needs to happen.

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Health passport pic

I am a very busy person, but I make sure I find time to help out when I can with the project. My absolute favourite part about working with Treat Me Right! is helping health staff learn how to fill in Health Passport properly and I tell them how they can do it better. We have such a laugh – its really great fun!

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Berge at opticians

It’s so important to keep the work of Treat Me Right! going, I think we can help others outside of Ealing learn from the work we have been doing.

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Big Health check

The stuff that Treat Me Right! does, really works and makes a difference. I have met lots of people with Learning Disabilities and carers who tell me good stories about how they have seen changes in the way they were treated in Ealing Hospital, or by their local GP.

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henry-at-hospital

They say they want other hospitals and health services to make similar improvements and I agree! It means so much to me as we have to make sure people can use health services in the same way as anyone else and stop dying unnecessarily like they have shown in the News.