Karen Evans leads a fulfilled life by seeking out new experiences and contributing fully at her day centre
M y mum is the most important person in my life because she has looked after me since I was a baby. She is always there for me and now it is my turn to look after her and to thank her for everything she has done for me and for looking after me.
I also have two sisters; sometimes I get on with them. I am an auntie nine times and a great auntie four times.
I am a service user and I work in the team at Sanders Gate, which is a day centre in Wellingborough for adults who have learning difficulties. I first started working here on 2 April 1998 and have made lots of friends.
I have a lot of different things to do in the centre; the jobs that I do are good. We have work sent to us that involves trimming, sorting, putting nuts into rounders and then putting a lid on to
them, then putting pins into the lids and then they get pressed down.
We also put inserts into triangles. We do this sort of work to help us get a job outside of the centre. Some of the users already have work placements and enjoy them.
We have started a recycling project and have called ourselves The Work Team Recyclers. We recycle old drink cans so that they can be made into new ones. All the cans we crush help send a
tree to Africa. To get us up and running we did a launch at Morrisons supermarket and a group of us were also in the local paper.
I have also got a job going round all the day centres in Wellingborough and talking to all the other service users about their day service. The places we go to are on Harrowden Road and
Oxford Street. I have also helped staff change certain difficult words into words that everyone can more easily understand.
My own key worker and link worker are both excellent. I get on with all the members of staff at Sanders Gate, they are all very understanding.
I have started at a club and it is run on a Thursday evening in Higham Ferrers. We have discos, drama classes and at the moment I am doing a computer course.
The computer tutor is very helpful and we also have a bit of fun. The club starts at 7.30pm and ends at 9.30pm and I am picked up and taken home when it finishes. The club leader is good fun
– he is a real laugh.
I found out about the club by talking to the mum of one of the other users. She got in touch with the club leader and he rang me and told me a bit about the club and where it is at.
At first it was a bit frightening but I soon got used to it. It helped because I knew three of the people that go to the club so they were there to help me. Two of my friends from the club also come
to Sanders Gate day centre.
Last October I started my job coaching for a work placement in a charity shop for half a day a week. It gets me out of Sanders Gate and I am trying something new.
Karen Evans has learning difficulties