I met Casey and her mum Sharron during November 2016. Casey is 19 years old and comes from a small village in the North East of Aberdeenshire. She belongs to a close knit family and has a special bond with her grandparents who live in the same village. At present, she is living with her grandparents and enjoying having a bit more independence. Over the past year she has developed more confidence, including life skills and also due to her age was coming to the end of her Activity Agreement. Together with Casey, her family we were looking for her to develop some of her skills and interests in IT as a volunteer activity.
She is a very friendly, young person who is also very articulate and when I met her in November last year, she looked ready for a new challenge. Through the connections made with Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action, they recommended Café Connect in Fraserburgh as a supported volunteer placement for Casey. The project creates employment and personal development opportunities for disabled adults in an environment that is integrated into the community. Casey was willing to try it out and meet with Gwen, the Café Connect manager.
We met with Gwen and the first impressions were good. There were plenty of opportunities for her to build on her computer skills and confidence. There was also the potential for some new experiences, for instance, working as part of a team and increasing her social skills. Casey already had travel training from previous Lead Scotland, Learning Coordinators and felt confident with the help of her family to use the local bus for return journeys. Gwen offered her a 4 week induction placement and during this time she gained experience of using:
After spending about 3 hours per week over the 4 week induction at Café Connect, we had a review meeting with Gwen. She reported that Casey has settled in well to the team at Café Connect and is very pleased with Casey’s progress. She has noticed that Casey is chatty and friendly with the other disabled volunteers and staff. Casey says, ‘They like me already!’ The good news is Casey says she, ‘feels a lot more confident since I’ve been here.’ She will progress on to being part of a team that will produce a quarterly newsletter for a day care service in Fraserburgh. The next step for Casey is to transition to Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action for support, now that the time for the Activity Agreement is coming to an end. Casey has progressed far over the past year and will hopefully inspire others to take on fresh and new challenges with the same positive attitude.
Names have been changed for data protection.