Meet Oscar, a bright and articulate young man who was introduced to Changing Our Lives by his social worker in January 2018.

“Oscar’s confidence has improved massively since working with Changing Our Lives. They have been able to able to offer him the opportunity to use his imagination, to develop his communication skills and to improve his self-worth; for this I thank you!”

  Oscar's social worker

Oscar lives in his own flat, can travel independently and undertakes voluntary work throughout the week. However, what Oscar wants more than anything is a paid job! On meeting Oscar it was clear that he believes an ordinary life is possible for anyone. He possesses many skills and talents and it was these assets that Changing Our Lives were keen to harness and develop.

Oscar’s first experience with the team came when he was invited to join young leaders from the Challenge Boards at a development day to strengthen their knowledge and understanding around human rights. It soon became apparent that Oscar’s strength was in capturing the thoughts of other young people in the room through his art work. Not only is he able to use this as a medium to connect and exhibit discussions, but he is also able to articulate the narrative behind the artwork eloquently and effectively. 

Changing Our Lives is now working with Oscar to develop his skills as a graphic facilitator or visual minute taker (as Oscar likes to call it). He is working closely with a member of the Changing Our Lives team, who is a participatory artist and has years of experience in graphic facilitation. The short term plan is to mentor Oscar, develop and refine his skills in the hope that longer term he will be able to use graphic facilitation as a route to self-employment, as well as an avenue to further build his confidence, self-belief and resilience!

Visual minutes: The Challenge Boards' hopes and aspirations for the future in relation to human rights (click on the picture to the left to see full image and narrative).
Visual minutes: The label of "challenging behaviour" (click on the picture to the left to see full image and narrative).

 

“The best thing I get from working with Changing Our Lives is hoping the pictures that I draw will help push our points and give an alternate way for the public to understand. Changing Our Lives helps me develop my skills as a visual minute taker by giving me the opportunity to work alongside other artists so that I can practice my talent. I appreciate the advice about the best materials to use and ways to store my art work for the future. I would hope that this will lead to me getting a job that shows off my abilities."

                                             Oscar

 

“Since being invited to work alongside Changing Our Lives, Oscar’s confidence has markedly increased, he’s enjoying feeling valued and listened to, he has a lot of skills and can offer a great deal but needs an understanding platform in order to flourish.  With the empathy and support from Lucy and her team he has discovered an outlet for his talents.  He is relishing his role as graphic facilitator doing it to the very best of his ability, he also likes working at the events – being trusted with the responsibility of helping set up and organising his work station.”

                                  Oscar’s mum