GATE helps people to help themselves. That has always been one of our key values, though often easier to support in theory than apply in practice, particularly in relation to advocacy. The temptation, or perhaps pressure, is to simply complete the task at hand. Too often that means both advocate and member alike focus on completion of a single task, at the expense of building up longer term self-advocacy skills. It is therefore so positive to see many examples recently that this is not always the case.
We have at GATE been seeing a number of instances of members doing things for themselves, with or without our prior support.
Well done to 17 residents of Cottingley Springs who recently took part in the Mud Run at Temple Newsam Park to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research. The group raised well over £400 and money is still coming in. The group were inspired by Kathleen Morrison, GATE worker, close relation and friend to many
We often say at GATE if you get things right for Gypsy and Traveller people you will get things right for a whole range of people, I often think of this in my own experiences of trying to access healthcare systems.
How difficult the processes can be, the way you’re made to feel a bit like a nuisance and the reaction that provokes in me (okay, well I’ll just get on with it myself then). And if I am white, reasonably middle class, literate, a professional who works with healthcare providers all the time and, to a certain extent, I know how to codify my language to the situation – how difficult must it be if you find reading and writing hard, you haven’t got much credit on your mobile, you’re super stressed and you’ve got 3 kids to look after? Frankly, I’d think to hell with it.