One of the key principles of a good life is the approach of keys to citizenship that are embedded in our support planning. Citizenship means being treated as an equal – with dignity and respect. As an organisation we mean to promote citizenship in practice and to that end we are a member of the Citizen Network.
The “Keys to Citizenship” is a movement created by Dr Simon Duffy from the Centre of Welfare Reform in 2014. The seven keys cover areas needed for people to gain true citizenship and be a valued member of society, in a way that is usually taken for granted. You can find out more here.
These are the seven (7) keys to Citizenship and how we put them into practice:
- Purpose – having goals, hopes and dreams, a structure for life and a plan to achieve this. Having my own direction. Through talking and listening to you we build our support to enable you to get involved, maintain and develop passions and interests and find opportunities for life-long learning, volunteering or employment.
- Freedom – the control and ability to speak up, be heard and legally visible in society. Taking charge of my own life, making decisions, making mistakes and making my own way. For some people with significant communication difficulties or who have little experience of decision making then this needs to be approached with thoughtfulness, love and attentiveness. We will work with you on capacity, decision making and your rights and choices. We will help you exercise your legal rights, such as voting, as well as helping you keep safe.
- Money – to have money for what I need and control over how that money is spent. Having enough to live a good life and pay my own way. Through financial advocacy and support, we will help you to understand your budget, finances and how you spend your money. We will assist you as needed with shopping, budgeting and paying your bills.
- Home – a place that belongs to me, where I have control over everything that happens there. A place that can be the base for my life. We all need a place we can call our home, where we can have privacy, where we can be with those we love, where we belong. We will work with you to establish what’s important to you at home, find a home if you don’t have one and to manage your home or your tenancy so your home is safe and secure.
- Help – good quality help that enhances my gifts, talents and skills and ensures my social standing, freedoms, rights and responsibilities in society. The giving and receiving of help from others is the key to a good society. The challenge today is to get help without having to give up your citizenship. We want you to have the help and support you need – not just paid support but from family, friends and natural support from your community. We will help you to see if there are ways to help you through technology or tools to make your life easier.
- Life – to play an active part in my community including contribution through love, gifts and talents. Getting stuck in and making a difference. Learning from others and them learning from me. We will work with you to be part of your local community, have a social life, friends and relationships, use community facilities and public transport to get around. We will help you to practice your cultural or religious beliefs and promote physical and mental wellbeing.
- Love – rights to a range of loving relationships and with it the responsibilities for others are upheld. Friendship, love and family. The beginning and the end of citizenship is found in love. Through meeting, working with and joining in with other people we can form relationships, friendships, find lovers and make a family. We will work with you to maintain and develop your relationships with friends, family and others.