Connecting our Hounslow Community
Anita from Community Connecting Hounslow, who works with people with learning disabilities to help them build relationships within their local community, discusses why daily ‘mainstream activities’ are an important inclusion to anyone’s agenda, regardless of disability.
The aspiration that overrides everything we do at Certitude is to give people with learning disabilities and mental health support needs the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.
We all have this right, whether it involves doing the things you are most passionate about in your local community, finding new friendships and building upon those that already exist or, ultimately, anything that means you can have some fun!
We want people we support to be valued in their community for the people they are, relying on paid support as little as possible.
Severe cuts have been made to social services in recent years, including those within Hounslow. Many places have consequently closed, which has had a knock-on effect to where the people we support are able to visit and interact with others – in some cases, substantial parts of people’s lives have quite suddenly had to adapt and totally new connections be built, which can be quite a turbulent, difficult experience.
This is where we come in. We connect people to activities of their choosing, so that they can continue to lead lives that involve people from around the local area.
This could be a whole range of activities: paid work, volunteering, swimming, Zumba, adult education courses, cooking classes, movie clubs, pottery, pub nights, exploring London, going to watch or play football, badminton. The list is endless!
We liaise with other public and private organisations to tap into a variety of valuable assets available to us in London. We’re open to referrals from outside Certitude via social workers, family members, psychologists, GPs and so on, provided it is from personal budgets.
People we support are often able to take part in activities independently so, wherever possible, we work on improving their skills to do so confidently. Where people require 1-on-1 support, we work with choice workers, house staff or volunteers to support the activities to go ahead.