Today, I’m talking to Katy to find out more about her new role at Kingsway Care. We first met Katy when she needed live-in care during the Easter Weekend. Unfortunately, her care provider had left her without support. Her friend Martin, a Kingsway Care Client, suggested she call us. We were able to jump in, do an assessment of care needs and start providing support immediately.
Olly, the managing Director of Kingsway Care, was impressed with her positive attitude and desire to encourage other people with disabilities to lead a fulfilling and independent life. As Katy says, “He saw right through me and understood that I could help others.”
Katy is now our Disability Champion working part-time. Olly says, “Katy and I have been discussing the creation of a ‘Disability Liaison Manager’ role, to represent Kingsway Care and to ensure that we are Disability Positive in all that we do.
There are already several Kingsway Care events she will be organising and promoting in the local Sussex community for younger adults with disabilities.”
Kingsway Care Community Space
Olly continues, “A lot of social support groups closed down during lockdown or lost momentum”. Kingsway Care is going to donate their new Kingsway Coffee space, to help restart these opportunities for socialising after hours. (5pm onwards). From cinema screenings and discussion groups to meeting up after a Boccia competition, we are happy to provide a safe and welcoming space, accessible to all.
Sport For All – Boccia
Katy was born with cerebral palsy and needs live-in care but that doesn’t stop her from taking part in activities outside such as Boccia – which is a Paralympic recognised sport and something Katy has enjoyed playing since she was a child. It’s a sport similar to boules that people of all abilities can play together.
Katy says, ‘I’m going to set up a Kingsway Care Boccia Club and organise competitions and events to encourage more young people with disabilities to get outside and enjoy social activities’. A goal that Kingsway Care whole-heartedly supports and is funding Katy’s Boccia Leaders Course.
Breaking Down Disability Stereotypes
Katy adds, “I did a degree in ‘Physical Social Learning Development’ and have continued to work with young people ever since”. Curiosity gets the better of me and I have to ask how old she is. She laughs ‘I’m forty but everyone thinks I’m much younger.’ Perhaps it’s because she keeps herself so active, seeking out opportunities for disabled people in the local community.
Horse Carriage Driving
Another activity Katy loves is Horse Carriage Driving. Three years ago, one of her proudest achievements was winning the First rosette in a carriage driving competition. She loves the fun and freedom the sport provides and the opportunity to meet other young adults with disabilities – and she loves the ponies!
It’s something that she had to stop doing because of Covid-19 restrictions but she can’t wait to start again in July. For anyone interested, Katy highly recommends ‘Happy Landings Carriage Driving Group’ near Horsham in West Sussex. http://www.happylandings-rda.co.uk.
Swimming at Splashpoint, Worthing
She also recommends swimming during the disability hour at Worthing’s Splashpoint. Katy loves swimming but does need a carer to be in the swimming pool with her. If anyone reading this would like to apply for the job let us know! www.kingswaycare.com/careers
She tells me more about what it was like living in a variety of care homes before she successfully applied for funding for her own flat, 10 years ago. Katy researched funding options herself and is looking forward to using her knowledge of the social care system to help other young people with disabilities to find their independence.
Whilst there are some very good residential care homes, Katy says she still has friends that are not living their best lives because they are living in care homes that don’t have enough staff to help them. Their life revolves around going to bed, getting up for food and drinks, toilet and bathing, and then going back to bed again!
Our Disability Champion is here to show there is so much you can do. She says she ‘wants people to follow in her footsteps’.
Happy at Home
Katy is happy in her own home now. Her big fluffy, 18-year old cat Angel, jumps onto her lap to join the conversation. Besides sport and animals, Katy loves gardening, something she tells me she inherited from her mother who sadly died a couple of years ago. She grows lots of flowers in her garden and house plants do well in her sunny flat too. It’s great to know, that like her plants, Katy is not just surviving, but thriving!
Get in touch
Please get in touch if you need our support to enable independent living in your own home. Katy and the Kingsway Care team is here to help. Telephone 01273 077444 or email email@example.com