Reece O Neill – My Life Experiences with YAP Ireland – A letter to all Young People
My life experience with YAP Ireland was very enjoyable and my YAP worker William went to extra lengths to keep me happy and enjoy my time with him. When I started YAP I was a little nervous, I didn’t know what YAP was and realise the impact it had on a young persons life.
My YAP worker was like my best friend. Trust me when I say you can say anything to them and nothing comes as a shock. Your advocate puts in immense effort getting you involved in your community and finding your feet. The relationship isn’t a one way street, you as a young person must be meeting the expectations with your advocate and realise that things will start to work out with your advocate. If you are a young person who feels your relationship with your Advocate isn’t quite working out, let them know!! That’s what they are there for. You are there to talk and they are there to listen. I would highly recommend using your freedom of speech.
For your own personal growth within YAP, remember you don’t have to put in a stupendous amount of effort as they must also meet you half way in order for the programme to work.
The best thing I got out of YAP was the immense effort both myself and my Advocate put in to work together and how much YAP has helped me build my confidence. I now do not always have negative thoughts about every situation. Thank you YAP Ireland.
A Mother’s Story
I really don’t know where to start because things were so bad. I felt so bad, so low, so worthless. I didn’t even feel like a mother any more. I can’t even remember how or who put me in contact with Yap. But I do remember the very first phone call. It was from a woman. I knew nothing about her except she had a warm, caring, non judgemental voice. She told me that I will look back in a year’s time and things will be totally different. ‘Yeah Yeah’ I said to myself. How many have said that to me before! But at the time I had no confidence in myself. Before I knew it my daughter had a yap worker and I had the wonderful “lady” call to me a few times a week to check and see how I was. I use the term lady because Sinead my support worker is that.
You see I realised I actually wasn’t communicating with my children. I wasn’t even listening to them properly. We never did anything together as a family. Sure I wasn’t even listening to the poor dog or the cats. And I was shouting! When I stopped shouting…. the kids stopped shouting. When I started to listen to them… they started to listen to me. The family home became a calmer friendlier place to be. Of course we all have an off day. Everyone does! But our home is a happy calm place to be.
So what did Yap do for our family? Yap helped us use the tools we already had in a different way. The parenting programme with Yap is also very practical and I got a lot of tips from other parents. I would like to thanks Pamela and Sinead for helping me and my girls and also my husband. Your advice, invaluable support and guidance will stay with us forever.