19 May 2017
On Sunday 7th May Croydon Member Alison Holland passed a landmark 25 years of being a KeyRing Member.
“I heard about KeyRing through my day centre at the time. I was told that a new independent living scheme was being set up. I thought that it sounded interesting and thought that I would like to do that. I spoke with the family and they said that it was up to me. I was interviewed by a panel back then. I had to sit down in front of three people. Carl Poll was one of the people and there were two others. They asked me questions such as ‘what would I do for a neighbour?’ It was very nerve racking. I was offered a flat in March 1992 . It needed some sorting out so I did not move until I was able to get it how I wanted to get it. That is why I did not move in until May. At the start, my neighbours were a bunch of old boys. This has now changed a lot. I noticed that one of the flats was vacant and my support worker was able to get the flat allocated to another KeyRing Member, instead of another elderly gentleman.”
Things have changed a lot in Croydon KeyRing but personally, I do not feel they have changed that much. The first CLV was a man called Paul. I remember my friend Sue commenting that he was a ‘Typical bachelor – he was not very good with curtains!’ Otherwise his support was really good. I have seen a lot of volunteers come and go. Some have been brilliant, such as my present CLV, Navind. Others have not been all that good. Generally, I have been happy with the support I have got and support has always been there if I need it. I have seen a lot of Members, staff and CLVs come and go, but that is life. You cannot change that. What’s going to be will be.
I have really enjoyed the social side too. I liked the network meetings and it was strange when the services changed in Croydon and these stopped. I am now used to this. I am grateful for the opportunities that have become available to me through being a KeyRing Member.
How have I changed? I feel like the same person. I feel I have matured over the years. I have grown up a lot and look at things a lot differently from when I was younger. I have developed as a person and am able to tackle situations with maturity and confidence.”