I was part of the Focus Group for long time, and will continue as part of the Compass Network, and feel that it has benefited me in lots of ways.
We meet regularly and discuss issues that are important to us. I have met and made lots of friends over the years and feel that together we make a voice that can be heard. Being part of the Focus Group helped my confidence. I never felt I could speak in front of people about things that mattered to me but this has changed since being in the group.
We talk about the future and how things are changing and how it will affect us. I feel that the group gives our thoughts and opinions a stronger voice together and this is very important to me.
I enjoy contributing to the newsletters. In these we update every one about our news and all the gossip.
The group has shown that by working together, we can make a difference. A few years ago we were alerted to the dangers while trying to get to the bus stop outside Hansel. Through our campaigning and efforts a safe pathway way laid. I was very proud to be involved in something that can ensure people's safety.
I have been on lots of outings with the group, such as Edinburgh, Dumfries and Glasgow.
Through the group, I have also become a Quality Checker for my service (NASL). I designed a questionnaire for all those in the service and Jim and I are conducting interviews with all the Service Users at NASL. We are trying to find out if everyone is getting best support they can from the service and getting the most out of it.
In September this year I attended, with then group, the National Involvement Network – Charter for Involvement. I am proud to have attended this and other days relating to the Charter and that the term, “Let's Get Involved”, was my idea!
I took part in the “People Making Assumptions” play which was lots of fun but serious message for all – don’t make assumptions!
In June this year, I took part in the Learning Disability Day in Lindy's. I spoke to the audience about my journey to independence and how much technology has helped me. I never thought that I would be able to do this but the confidence that the group has given me has made me a stronger, more “focused” person.