nicola-hamilton-2_22844120273_oI moved into my own home in April this year and I am loving having my own place. I have decorated my flat the way I want it – I especially love my new big comfy couch!

I have been receiving support from C-Change since Spring this year. My previous support provider was not really helping me move on or try new things. They used to brush my hair for me and things like that which is something I can easily do myself. Something which very much annoyed me is I used to have a timetable for my Support hours which I could not change; If I wanted to go out somewhere – I would have had to stay home or I would lose my support hours.

My Personal Development Workers have encouraged me to go out and try new things. They don’t do things for me that they know I can do myself. If there is something I want to do then my support is flexible and they will find a way to make it happen. Though I have only recently been receiving support from C-Change, I have been a member of dates-n-mates for quite a few years now.

I found out about dates-n-mates by attending an event at The Arches a few years back called ‘The Art of Living’. I went along to find out about new activities I could get involved in – one of the stalls was dates-n-mates. One of the dates-n-mates staff attending recommended that I attend a night club they had coming up called LATE, it was the first one.

I joined dates-n-mates after attending the LATE night.

Before finding out about dates-n-mates I was sitting in my room at home not doing very much. I have since met many friends through the project. I recently had a flat warming and invited a few of the girls from dates-n-mates and my boyfriend, as well as some of my family. It was the first party I have ever held – I prepared lots of food for the party. I was so nervous about it though it went really well and everyone had a really good time.

I just had my one year anniversary with my boyfriend Derek. We are going on holiday together to Disneyworld in Florida for two weeks in November. I am really looking forward to it – it will be my first holiday being independent without my family.

I have a dog called Sam; I have had him since he was a puppy – he is now 3 years old. Sam is great company and I love having him around.

I recently started a volunteer job working on the reception desk with Deaf Connections. I work there two days a week and am really enjoying it – it is giving me great work experience. I have also started a British Sign Language course at Glasgow Clyde College.

I hope to secure paid employment working with the Deaf Community – I have definitely made a good start on that path.