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Being in control

A conversation with Margaret Roper House resident, Sue Nuttall

We recently spoke to one of our Adult residents, Sue Nuttall, who has lived at Margaret Roper House for just over four years. Sue has been in and out of care across her life. Recently, with the support of our Volunteer Coordinator, Colin, Sue has become more confident and independent.

“I was born in 1953 and when I was five I suffered speech loss following an incident after school when I got lost on the way home.

Following that I was in children’s homes and hospitals being supported and cared for enabling me to go to school at Christ the King school. During my time there I increased my knowledge and I’ve also been to evening classes to do more English and Maths, I studied computers and took a food hygiene course.

I worked for a while in various places including making electronic components used by the GPO where I carried out soldering and other repairs.”

When Sue moved to Margaret Roper House she says she wasn’t in a good place, her diabetes was bad and she didn’t feel confident in herself.

“The home has been great for me, the staff treat me like a person and let me make decisions for myself. I was quite down early on and when Liz (The Registered Manager) asked if I was okay, I told her I wanted to decorate my room, she agreed and I was able to pick the wall paper, furniture and paint and It is  now my room!

Since then I’ve done the food hygiene course again and achieved 100%, whereas the first time I only achieved 99%!”

A voice for the Voiceless

As Sue’s confidence has grown she has become a spokesperson for the home: “I was quite vocal with different people about issues we needed fixing.

“I spoke to Normandie (Nugent CEO) about the Shower, the house had been trying to get the wet room sorted since I moved in.

I asked if she would be comfortable taking a shower in there, she said no, and they have now replaced it.

It is important, as getting infections and things can be dangerous for people, including myself, with diabetes.”

The Place to be Team at the launch

Sue also started attending the Food Share events at Clarence high School last year, and began to get involved in organising them.

“I’m now on the committee and help gather people together and provide afternoon tea and make cakes.

Since the initiative moved to St John Stone in Ainsdale it is called The Place To Be, and invites local people in on Thursdays to share some food and have a cuppa. Sue is part of the committee and uses her own influence and people she knows to make connections with those who have things we need, meeting different people from the church and the area.

Becoming an ambassador.

“Recently I was asked to be an ambassador for other residents and people supported across Nugent. This involves listening to others, finding solutions to put things right, help support people and speak on their behalf. It’s new to me but I do enjoy it. Even though I have learning difficulties myself I always try to help others.”

“I like to help people, if I can fix it or do something to make their life better I will. I want to visit Nugent’s other homes now and see how I can help residents to get out more and help improve things.”

Finding my independence

“I do my own teas and baking for myself, making steak and Chinese stir fry, I’m become more independent and have more control, I’m now self-medicating and not relying on others, I have more freedom, and more confidence.

I’ve been away twice to Llandudno, with staff, they treat us like a person, not differently.

I am now looking to go away on holiday again, and would love to find a buddy to come with me, to support me.”

Sue was talking with our Marketing and Communications Manager, Mike James.

This interview originally featured in Together Magazine 6.

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