Basic Autobiography

  • Early Years
  • Teen Years
  • At University
  • Early Adulthood
  • Middle Years
  • Online C V
  • My Scribbling
  • Settled Years
  • Motability 2012
  • Self Image

    Thoughts on ..




    Looking back, my move to Milton Keynes was a big step for me since I was leaving my parental home, and that is a major step for anyone. Though I acquired a degree of experience of living away from home and managing catering and related issues at both college and university, I still had more to learn in the early years in Milton Keynes.


    I lived in a single-person's flat in Milton Keynes with a network of support personnel to assist me with whatever I could not physically do without help. The staff were employed by the charity now known as Scope (the charity had previously been known as The Spastics Society) and my flat was also rented from Scope.


    Despite the service being a residential service, it was far ahead of its time in 1984. I was moving into a sheltered-yet-unsheltered accommodation where I had to cater for myself and plan my day with no input from the support staff. I had the freedom to come and go without needing to explain where I was going - but I had to do this between the times I had staff assistance.


    It was only in the last five years in Milton Keynes that I increasingly found the service was restrictive. I resented having to plan activities weeks or months in advance with no certainty that I would get the help that had been booked. I resented the feeling that I was an 'overgrown child' with no possibility of being given any adult responsibilities while I remained in that accommodation.


    The accommodation in Milton Keynes is geared to people who need the additional support that is provided by a residential service as such accommodation shelters service-users from the outside world. In terms of all adult responsibilities (such as budgeting for and paying bills), service-users are essentially treated as over-grown children. This is because, by default, anyone who needs to be in residential care is deemed unable to manage this type of activity.


    For example, I could go away on holiday for 3 weeks in the middle of a cold winter and leave all 6 lights on in my flat and the heating up at maximum and the service would have to pay the abnormally high bill, not me. I would probably not even been asked not to do it again.


    Read my Lament for a Lost Service, in which I mourn the potential demise of a ground-breaking service, brought down by the U.K. government's Care Standards Agency from January 2004.