The way members develop their life skills is very naturally woven into everything we do at Assist and the way in which staff support members and facilitate group sessions. Members develop their life skills, not just in the group sessions at Assist and in the community; but also during break and lunch times.
In all the groups and activities that take place at Assist, members are gradually encouraged to do more for themselves.
Giving people manageable amounts of responsibility bit by bit is an excellent way to see what people can do for themselves.
Managing these tasks successfully also then helps people feel more confident in themselves and better able to fact the next challenge.
It becomes a positive loop as individuals gradually show their potential for more independence.
We also support members to understand and maintain positive behaviour; use positive coping strategies; understand social and/or work place expectations (either in group sessions or when in the community); and make healthy choices (about diet and physical activities).
Life can be tough! Getting up for work, travelling around the community and just getting on with others can be challenging tasks for all of us.
At Assist, we have found that members will only have a good chance of succeeding in the real world if they can develop some resilience. This means supporting people to understand the things that perhaps didn’t go so well, while working on ways to avoid problems in the future. Over time, and with good levels of trust built up very gradually, members get to understand that getting things wrong is normal and that problems that come along don’t have to be the end of the world!
Through all that we do at Assist, we support members to take part in meaningful activities (in group sessions at Assist or in the community) and contribute in a positive way.
If you ask the members what they like about coming to Assist, many would say that making friends is the most important thing for them.
As well as helping people get on with others generally (very useful skills when living or working with others, of course) we will always try and help the members develop and keep good friendships and relationships.
Lots of social events take place through the year and staff members will often take the time to facilitate evenings out or help arrange meeting up for a meal, etc.
This includes making new friends and spending time with others; maintaining friendships; dealing with problems with others in a positive way; and keeping safe (online and/or when out in the community).
Nobody can achieve things in life without a good amount of confidence.
At Assist, we make sure that this essential part of development is included in everything we do and with every group and activity that takes place. We focus very strongly on what people can do and we celebrate every little step at every opportunity.
This includes speaking up and communicating with others (either in groups or if necessary within the community); making choices and decisions (about likes, dislikes and what individuals want to achieve); coping with problems or changes (developing resilience to be able to cope with change); and trying new things (whether that’s a new group session, a new activity or a new work placement).