Kingsway Care Client and UK Boccia Champion

Louis was a member of the GB Squad in the Tokyo Paralympics and also won the UK Boccia National Championship 2022. He continues to train and take part in international championships across the world. What is Boccia? Let Louis explain on the video link.

Louis is also currently studying International Development at Sussex University and asked to write this guest blog to highlight how much Kingsway Care has supported him to live independently. Over to you, Louis!

Guest Blog by Louis

I’m Louis, a 21-year-old electric wheelchair user, who has been a Client of Kingsway Care for just under a year. I just wanted to come on and write this guest blog to showcase the amazing work that Kingsway Care does, and my huge appreciation for them. They have enabled me to not only become far more independent, but also have the best second year imaginable while at the University of Sussex. 

From Live-In Care to Two Hourly Visits

“My primary carer, Sorin, is a bundle of positivity and energy and we just bounce off each other during every visit. We share so many laughs and jokes whilst getting my care done. It’s brilliant.”

Kingsway CareGiver and Paralympian Client

In my first year at university, I had a full-time live-in carer. Whilst they were great, and this support helped me confidently settle into life at Sussex Uni, I began to get frustrated. I felt quite trapped having a carer there constantly and my university experience wasn’t as freeing and life-changing as I wanted it to be.

When I shared my ambition at the end of my first year that I wanted to start the next year of Uni in September without live-in care, my friends and family thought I was crazy. They were worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope without constant help and that support from an agency wouldn’t be reliable or of high quality (How wrong were they?!). 

Kingsway CareGiver and Paralympian Client

All the care I require is condensed into two hours and then I have the rest of the day to go to lectures, train, see friends, and be the person I want to be.

Courage to Pursue Independence

Looking back, I was probably on the cusp of courageousness becoming recklessness. But I’m so glad and grateful that Kingsway Care were willing to help me pursue my dream of increased independence. I remember calling Lisa, their outstanding Registered Manager, and we created a plan in which I would have a two hour visit each morning.

I’d have help to get showered, dressed, my lunch and dinner made and even have a bit of time left over to sort out any other little things I’d need for the day ahead. It was also really reassuring how Lisa assured me that I could request more hours of support from Kingsway Care if I were in fact being a little reckless in my desire for more freedom. 

Empowerment and Confidence

However, this plan has honestly worked perfectly! All the care I require is condensed into two hours and then I have the rest of the day to go to lectures, train, see friends, and be the person I want to be. I have grown so much confidence since having Kingsway Care in my life.

It’s shown me that I can do more things for myself and has helped me take more responsibility for my care. I must admit, this pursuit of greater independence isn’t always easy. Yet, my wellbeing and quality of life is so much greater because I feel so much freer. 

The Best Possible Start to the Day

Kingsway Care has also helped me be happier. The morning visits are the best possible start to each day. My primary carer, Sorin, is a bundle of positivity and energy and we just bounce off each other during every visit. We share so many laughs and jokes whilst getting my care done. It’s brilliant.    

A common criticism of care agencies is that you don’t get continuity when it comes to carers, but I’ve absolutely loved having Jara, Ian, Sorin and Arthur help me this year. It has been so refreshing to meet new people who are all so kind and caring. 

It’s been a joy to witness how Kingsway CareGivers haven’t just become part of my life and university experience, but also my flatmates. Some mornings we are all laughing and joking together in the kitchen and that has been ace. Feeling confident about sharing my need for care with my friends has been good for me.  

Feeling Proud of Needing Care

My wellbeing and quality of life is so much greater because I feel so much freer.

There are times as a 21-year-old that it is a bit embarrassing to admit that you need help with ‘basic’ tasks like showering and cooking, but since I’ve been with Kingsway Care I have been feeling far more proud of needing care.

Pinpointing exactly why that embarrassment has subsided is difficult to explain. Although I’m certain it has lots to do with being affiliated with a care company that is determined to improve social care for all and truly values its Clients and Caregivers. Plus, I’m so deeply pleased and proud that I have been empowered and supported to push myself to become more independent. 

What’s Next?

As I go into my final year of university, I want this adventure of increasing my independence and feeling of happiness to continue. And I know that with Kingsway Care’s support, I can do it.

 I’m also hoping to start contributing to the great work that Kingsway Care does. With that in mind, I hope you have enjoyed this initial blog as you should be hearing from me lots more in the next few months… 

Thank You Louis!

Wow! What a wonderful guest blog. A fabulous testament to the work we do and our focus to encourage independence. This blog says it all. We can’t wait to see what you do next, Louis!

If you would love to be more independent, in and around Brighton & Hove, please chat to our friendly team to discover how we can support you to live your best life.

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