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I always used to say I can’t, but now I say I can.

When asked what she has achieved over the last year Michelle Rahman replied, “The list is endless! I’ve got my learners drivers licence and I’m well on my way to getting my restricted“. “And these two are just the start of the list!” her Supported Living Facilitator commented.

So what’s so special about getting a drivers licence? The answer to this lies in the fact that Michelle lives with a mild intellectual disability as well as dealing with Dyspraxia on a daily basis. So what’s the secret of her success and how has she achieved some of the goals that she has set for herself? Just over a year ago Michelle made the decision to join the Supported Living Programme offered by the Renaissance Group. Since then and working with the guidance and support of her Supported Living Facilitator, she has achieved goals she would never have dreamed of a year ago.

Prior to receiving support from the Renaissance Team, Michelle spent a lot of time by herself, felt that she had very little independence and was very shy.

Along with her husband of two years, Michelle is now managing life with an attitude that even she finds hard to believe and as she said, “I always used to say I can’t but now I say I can!” This is an attitude she is passing on to staff and pupils at Campbell’s Bay Primary School where she works part time three to four days a week in their After Schools Programme. Going back to work in the school that she attended as a pupil is a huge success story for Michelle.

The team for the Renaissance Group do not work with clients to take over their lives, they are there simply to offer guidance and be supportive when meeting obstacles. For example, Michelle is also studying Pet Care part time via a correspondence course and as she says, “When it gets difficult, I get together with my Supported Living Facilitator and we work our way through the issues”.

Normal everyday tasks are also a part of Michelle’s programme and they include jobs like budgeting, shopping and cooking, “It’s been good having my Supported Living Facilitator working with me as I used to burn food and cut my fingers”.

Even with all these achievements in such a short time Michelle’s final statement, “I would like to do more though!”