My Mum was very unwell in year late 90’s,
She realised anything might happen to her and that
John and I would needed a Green Flag (emergency recovery service )
Mum heard about the Plan Canada. I just went on a trip to support my Mum seeing the work of Plan Canada. We visited Al Etmanski to see if Plan might work in Scotland. Vicki Camack and Al came to Scotland later in year in 2001 to start up helping all the families with relatives who might benefit from the Plan idea.
For me and John at that time it was lots of work trying to figure out what it would all mean but now it is great.
The charity Equal Futures was set up. It provides all sorts of advice for families with a relative who has different needs. This might be about trusts and the legal and financial issues which might face a person once their caretaking family was gone. It is also about gathering a group of people around a person so that they can start having their own community of people who they might talk with, share with and who might help them with decisions and talk on their behalf if things need sorted out in their lives. My Circle helped me decide I would prefer to live in Kinross than in Perth. It means not only Mum and Dad decide but also other people with different points of view who might help me see the world in different ways, like all friends do. My Mum and Dad hope these people might be around to help me when they can’t help me anymore, maybe if they are very ill. They hope that they can check that my life is in order with me in the middle rather than decisions being made by strangers in ways I do not want. Having a Circle means having fun, we have a good time and celebrate xmas, birthdays, the summer when we have one! We also talk about what is happening in their lives too. I like to hear what they get up to. We meet as a group about 4 times a year but I talk to the people in my circle quite often and see them at church and they drop in on me sometimes. Some even come when everything falls apart with ill staff and absent parents and I need help to get my tea!
Al Etmanski and Vicki have both been very helpful supporting Equal Futures. We just have a new book ‘Safe and Secure’. It puts a lot of the advice from Equal Futures in one place so people can understand how to make life easier now and in the future. There was a reception at the Scottish Parliament when the book was launched. John and I got to speak. We also had a ceilidh to celebrate so it was a big big weekend party time. I loved meeting Linda from Canada who I had talked to on Skype. She had asked lots of questions about my story which are in the book.