Tristan is 26 years old and lives in Lowedges, Sheffield. He receives support from SYHA’s Options team and is an Over2You volunteer.
It’s fair to say that Tristan has not had the easiest of starts. For much of his childhood, Tristan cared for his mum who suffered with serious alcohol addiction; when Tristan was a teen, she passed away.
Due to a combination of his learning disability and his turbulent childhood, Tristan did not achieve what he would have liked to in school, rather than go to college, he started work in an Argos warehouse to support himself and his mum.
Having only worked for a few weeks, Tristan was let go.
“Imagine being at work every day and getting a call from your mum saying that she needs to go to the hospital again, so having to go home, pack her bags and take her, or getting home from work and the first thing you see is the ambulance, again”.
In the years after his mum’s death, Tristan started receiving support from SYHA’s Options team. The team supported Tristan to learn how to cook, manage his finances more efficiently, join a gym and enrol in college.
Last year, Tristan’s key workers told him about Over2You – a totally co-produced project aiming to empower customers to improve the quality of care. Tristan filled out an application form, completed references and attended an interview. Tristan’s application was successful!
In the first meeting Tristan was taught about work place behaviour, safeguarding and health and safety.
“I felt raised up, I felt like any other person at work, not like a patient – makes me feel the same as staff”.
Since his induction, Tristan has had robust training to enable him to complete person centred quality questionnaires with other people who access health and social care services. “I’m doing better at English in college, my forms help me with my English.”
As an Over2You researcher, Tristan has now attended quality assessments at seven health and social care services across Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley.
“When I’m doing my forms I feel like a proper staff member – I feel like I am doing the same job as you, I like being called a researcher, I feel important. I have enjoyed meeting new people; this has definitely raised my confidence, talking to new people.”
In the coming months Tristan will be completing his Over2You course, which is accredited by the national open college network, and is looking forward to being involved in the co-evaluation of Over2You’s first year. We are thrilled with Tristan’s dedication and valuable contributions to the Over2You team!