Expanding Worlds Podcast, hosted by Debra Caldow, is about sharing stories and solutions. Debra talks to parents and professionals around the world about how to ensure that young people with additional needs enjoy the same opportunities to live their lives the way they want, just the same as anyone else. She interviews people from across the world who are making a real difference to the lives of young people with additional needs.
Debra has been talking to staff at Grace Eyre. You can read about and listen to the podcasts by clicking on the links below:
Looking Back to Move Forward
Debra talks to Jackie Reeve about the Sharing Our Voices project. This episode is about starting at the beginning, looking at the history of the organisation not just from a timeline perspective but from what can be learnt from history. You will hear from Jackie how this project provided not only a better understanding of how the Grace Eyre Foundation came into existence but also the impact it had on the lives of the individuals who got to share their stories. All effective organisations change over time, this project, initiated by Grace Eyre, illustrates the right way to look back at the past and learn from it to move forward:
Creating a Roadmap to navigate the Future
The future can be scary if you really don’t know what your options are. Having a roadmap with ideas of where to start would help and what that involves is the topic of this episode with Tom Conroy, the New Business Manager. Tom talks about not only his role as the first point of contact and what that can mean from identifying employment opportunities to explaining housing options, but also the challenges of the role. These challenges often occur because people are unaware of their options. Tom explains what a transition roadmap should look like and how having one would make the future not only easier to navigate but might also open up more opportunities that haven’t been previously considered:
A Place to call Home
Moving into a place of our own is a major life event. For a person with additional needs it can often be the first significant step on their journey to greater independence. Just what that place might look like and how it all works is the focus of this episode with Chris Hill – Head of Housing & Estates. Chris explains the different housing options that are available. He also talks about how housing preferences and the level of support needed will inevitably change over time as well as the importance of finding people the right place to call home, not just a place to live:
Choosing the Future
Having the right to choose how we live our lives is a fundamental human right and one that in the past many people with additional needs haven’t been given. In this episode with Paul Barker – Head of Service, Choices Brighton & Hove, they discuss how to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to choose their own future. They also talk about the importance of expectations and how that is driving change:
Shared Lives/Common Goals
Sharing our lives is what we all do but often we don’t realize the impact we can have on other people’s lives. In this episode with David Matthews – Head of Service Shared Lives they talk about what the Shared Lives scheme is all about and exactly how it works. They also discuss why it is such an effective way to support people to progress towards more independent living as well as why it offers a powerful way to fight social isolation and promote inclusion:
Connections for Life
Social interactions are an essential part of being human, providing us with connections and often a purpose. In this episode with Jenny Good from the Friendship Group and Colleen Maytham and Mario Antoon from Active Lives they explore the ways to make and keep these connections and the increasingly important role of technology in helping bring people together to explore common interests and support each other.
The Travel Buddy Project – Getting Out and About
One of the core skills for an independent life is independent travel. Travel Buddy Project focuses on supporting people to develop the confidence, self awareness and knowledge they need to travel independently. In this episode Gary Cunningham, the Travel Buddy Team Leader, discusses exactly how the scheme works and the impact it has on increasing the opportunities for people with additional needs. Gary also shares some strategies that parents can use to help develop their children’s independent travel skills.
Let’s Work Together
Getting into paid employment is a major challenge for people with additional needs. Programmes that support people to develop their employability skills and enable them to break down the barriers into work play an essential role. In this episode Evie Halligan and Stuart Leaney discuss the Work Buddy and Let’s Work Together projects run at Grace Eyre, how these operate, the challenges, the successes and why getting into paid work is so important in enabling people to live more independent lives.
Listening to the voices that matter the most
Everyone should have the right to decide their own future but too often people with additional needs simply aren’t given a voice. In this episode my two guests are Cleo Dibb, the Our Voices Manager and Jenny Good who was involved in the Rethink Disability campaign. Both are discussing the imperative of giving people the opportunity to share their lived experience, be listened to and be actively involved in all the decisions that impact on their lives.
Thank you, Debra.