This is an unprecedented time in our world. The situation we face with COVID-19, and how we respond to it, changes almost daily. And it’s times like this that I am reminded of how important it is for us to reach out, connect, and support one another.
I learned the value of support at a relatively young age. My childhood was not a fairy tale story. I won’t go into the details, but my early years found me bouncing between extended family to time in an orphanage. My brother and I eventually returned to our Father, but life was complicated for him. Although he did provide us shelter and food, we didn’t enjoy a supportive or encouraging relationship.
But then I discovered a boy’s club called the Boys Brigade and met someone who would become one of my biggest and most influential mentors. He believed in me, supported me and encouraged me to set goals and achieve them. I remember the day he encouraged me to go for the “Queen’s Badge” – the highest award you could get in our club. I was floored. I couldn’t possibly believe someone like me could achieve this.
He believed in me. He helped me set goals and map out a plan of what I needed to do to achieve this award. Which I did. And because of this, my own self-belief started to creep in. I started to achieve in many aspects of my life, including sport and school. I became more open to receiving the guidance and support of others, and my life continued on a more fulfilling path.
And because of the support I received growing up, I became drawn to give back in the same way the mentors in my life gave to me. I wanted to inspire others to set goals for themselves and support them to achieve their potential.
That’s why I am so grateful that Care Support Network exists. We have the tremendous honour of walking alongside people with disability so they, too, can achieve their goals in life. We all have unique abilities and interests, but it can be so difficult to discover the opportunities to build on this when we are overwhelmed, stressed, or just plain exhausted.
That’s why I believe so strongly, that we are better together. Like the wonderful mentors I’ve had, the team at Care Support Network works together with our clients to help map out a plan, set goals and navigate complex funding packages to discover the services and supports available to help our clients achieve their life goals.
So, what does this have to do with the situation our world finds itself in today? This is a time of tremendous stress for some. We run the risk of being overwhelmed by the data and tragic stories that emerge from the news every day. But in this disruptive time, there is also opportunity. Opportunity to connect with one another. Opportunity to support each other in creative ways. Opportunity to help each other discover new goals and abilities. We may be in a time of self-isolation, but it does not mean we disconnect from one another. In fact, I think if together we can connect, support and encourage each other, it will be the best way for us to get through this.
At Care Support Network, ‘better together’ means it is more important than ever that we are available to support our clients and each other. May this time help you discover new connections and opportunities for you to give, and receive, support too.