Sammy said goodbye to her home of 11 years, Imagine, on Tuesday 4 April, and moved to Discover where she will share a unit for the first time.
Last week marked a major milestone for QHC participant Sammy. She moved from living on her own at Imagine in Werrington, to a shared living model at Discover, Toongabbie.
Sammy has made amazing progress over the past two years and come a very long way both in her recovery and learning new skills. She wanted to share her story with everyone at QHC so that people who might be in a similar situation can see that life can get much better.
My name is Samantha. I am 29 years old.
I used to live at imagine. I was 18 years old when I moved there, but it was not run by QHC, it was run by ADOC. When I was 18 my life was very hard. I had locked doors, and I wasn’t allowed to use sharps by myself. Back then I had a bad time and the police would come. I needed lots of staff to look after me.
Then I started working with Natalie, and the staff at Imagine like Kim, Linda, Molly, Louise, Claire, and the other Louise. I had no more locked doors. I started going grocery shopping and personal shopping on my own! I learned how to take busses. I started feeling much happier and less angry. I learned more things like cooking, first aid, and about how to be safe and ask for help, and how to say NO.
But I started get lonely, so I got a pen pal named Julie who lives at Discover. Staff at Imagine took me to visit Julie and everyone at Discover sometimes. Julie and I went to the movies together.
Claire and Natalie told me that Julie’s housemate was moving out, and that if I wanted I could live at Discover. I said yes! Now I live with my friend Julie. I feel happy to be at Discover. Now I’m closer to the train station and my Mum. It’s nice and safe there. Some of the staff from Imagine work at Discover too. Natalie comes to see me there now.
Sammy’s advice for others: Stay strong, be happy, think about moving somewhere happier, and work hard!
A little over two years ago when I begun working with Sammy and the amazing team at Imagine she was in a much different place. She had regulated restricted practices to keep her safe and struggled to manage her emotions.
In order to help Sammy achieve a better quality of life we went back to the principles of Positive Behaviour Support. With the invaluable input and experience of the team we were able to rework her behaviour support plan. This involved the team taking a big leap of faith and moving from caretaking and safeguarding style supports to enabling and empowering style supports. We removed all of Sammy’s restrictions and worked on helping her feel like Imagine was a safe place from which she could build her life and explore the world.
Thanks to the consistent, careful, and skilled implementation of this new support style by her support workers, Sammy immediately began to thrive. She has moved from strength to strength and now is able to live happily with others and make friends for the first time in her life.
I would like to sincerely thank the team for getting on board with Sammy’s behaviour support strategies and working with me and each other to get such a wonderful outcome. Congratulations to Sam, and to Claire, Louise, and the whole Imagine team.
There are so many new and exciting things to come for Sammy and we hope her friendship with roommate Julie will flourish and they become great friends.
Saying goodbye to Imagine - home for the past 11 years Welcome gift exchange with new roomie, Julie Sammy and her Behaviour Support Practitioner, Natalie Black