End of year message from Kate Allen
Shwmae pawb/Hello everyone,
It was a big year for me as I left my role as Chief Executive of Autism at Kingwood after 13 years. In that time I had seen many autistic adults, often with complex learning disabilities, grow and change. One of my most significant memories is of two young adults who spoke for the first time in their lives at the ages of 19 and 26. They had chosen not to speak previously because no one was listening. It still tugs at my heart. They chose to speak because they finally had confidence in their support team. I had many wonderful relationships with the people we supported, and their families, that made leaving emotionally hard. But alongside that came the anticipation of meeting and helping new people and building new relationships.
It was also a big year for Ategi with lots of new faces joining the charity. Whilst this is really good with lots of new ideas, energy and expertise, I’m mindful that this has been an unsettling period for some. I hope as you’ve got to meet the team this year you have been reassured and started to build new connections. I’ve really enjoyed meeting and talking with people we support and Shared Lives carers. Your thoughts and input are invaluable to ensure that we get it right for you. Our festive get togethers in November and December were well received and great fun – thank you to everyone who came along. It is a priority to ensure we make more opportunities to meet in person next year. If you didn’t come along, I’d be genuinely interested to hear why so we can consider doing something different in future.
I’ve really enjoyed meeting and talking with people we support and Shared Lives carers. Your thoughts and input are invaluable to ensure that we get it right for you.
The festive season and Christmas should be a wonderful time of year to look forward to; a time to enjoy being with friends and family, have fun, share laughter and love. However all too often instead it results in generating pressure with plans to create the perfect festive lunch, buy bigger and better gifts than last year and finish all those outstanding tasks before the end of the year.
With rising costs of living, now is the right time to alleviate some of the pressure by focusing not on gifts and fancy food, but on each other. Some of my strongest and warmest Christmas memories are not of elaborate presents or big turkey dinners; they are of the desk my Dad made for me to study at when money was tight and the laughter around the table when my Mum burnt the parsnips and forgot to buy the sprouts!
I really want more people to hear and know about Shared Lives and the incredible difference it can make to lives.
I am really looking forward to 2023 and putting in action some of the plans we have. I really want more people to hear and know about Shared Lives and the incredible difference it can make to lives. Raising the profile, I hope, will help us drive up rates that we can pass onto carers. I also want to make Ategi a great place for employees and carers, a place that you can rely on; and fundamentally I want to help more people with additional needs live their best life.
I’d like to wish you all Nadolig Llawen / a Merry Christmas and Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / Happy New Year.