Community Links works to the principles of the Active Support model
People with learning disabilities are entitled to lives which are full as anyone else’s. Although everyone differs, there are some core things we all have in common. It is important for most people to:
- Be part of the community
- Have good, lasting relationshipswith friends and family
- have opportunitiesto develop experience and learn new skills
- have choice and control over life
- be afforded status and respect
- and be treated as an individual
So important are these core elements of life that they have come to define what we mean by leading a socially valued lifestyle.
Engagement in a full range of typical activities is part and parcel of such a lifestyle. Basic requirements for a full life are the opportunities to:
- participate in the full range of activities that everybody else does
- be involved and share interests with other people
- and develop relationships, skills and experience
When a person is not able enough to do typical activities independently, he or she will need support to do them. Active Support is designed to make sure that people who need support have the chance to be fully involved in their lives and receive the right range and level of support to be successful.
WHY IS ACTIVE SUPPORT IMPORTANT?
Participation and contribution are important to self-esteem
Everybody spends most of their time participating in activities. No-one likes having nothing to do for very long. We look after ourselves, we do chores, we do hobbies, we help others, we have a good time, we see our friends, we enjoy a well-earned rest with a favourite pastime. Some activities are chores that have to be done. Others we choose. But we rarely do absolutely nothing.
Such participation, or engagement, in activity is a big part of what we think of as our quality of life. It:
- helps keep us fit and mentally alert
- allows us to express who we are
- establishes common interests with other people
- provides the basis for friendships and for living together
- develops our talents and allows us to show what we can do … and …
- is the means by which we look after ourselves and our daily needs.