Before I came to Transform life was pretty bad. I was homeless and living in a B&B, and I’d been in and out of hospital with mental health issues quite a few times. My social worker tried to find me somewhere to live and eventually a place became available at Transform.
I was homeless and living in a B&B, and I’d been in and out of hospital with mental health issues quite a few times.
It was great to have my own space, but I’d never lived on my own before so it was quite challenging. My keyworker taught me some important life skills like cleaning and cooking as well as giving me emotional support when my head was all over the place. I started to understand my own negative behaviours and it was then I knew I really had to change.
I’ve changed my attitude about things now which is really positive. There are still things I can’t do on my own, but now I’ll give it a go and if it really is impossible I know when to ask for help. I have gained so much from my time with Transform and when I decided to move on I knew it was the right decision. Without Transform I wouldn’t have gone anywhere.
Although I have now moved on from Transform I am still a member of the Client Forum. The Client Forum is a where clients and staff meet to discuss issues and get client input. Transform is a very inclusive organisation. I’ve never known anywhere take the opinions of their clients so strongly. We do have quite a bit of influence on the organisation, we are clients but we are listened to.
Transform is a very inclusive organisation. I’ve never known anywhere take the opinions of their clients so strongly.
One of the big things I will take away from my time at Transform is what I have achieved from being part of the group. It has been very empowering for me. I was making improvements personally but it’s also really nice to help other people and kind of shape the organisation that’s helped me.
Providing the client’s voice
I’ve been one of the two new members with lived experience who participate in the Board’s Client Experience & Impact Committee. My involvement on the group is probably both normal and extraordinary in equal measure. On one hand I feel equal to the other members of the committee, I perform roughly the same role; scrutinising and evaluating policy and procedures.
On the other hand my involvement is unique due to my background as a former client. It means I can bring a slightly different perspective to the discussion but probably more importantly it shows Transform's desire to improve with a client lead focus.
The reason I've stayed involved with Transform is because I know there’s a good chance my input, scrutiny and suggestions are actually changing the lives of current and future clients. There are some organisations that I have helped where just getting the people to break from tradition and accept common sense is a struggle but I can very honestly say Transform is not one of them.