My beacon is my belief in the mandatory need for family support, empowerment and advocacy.
I was appointed Parent Relations Manager at Inspire 6 years ago, to be exact on the 11 January 2013, but my history here at Inspire goes back 21 years.
I started working at the former NGO; The Eden Foundation on the 16 February 1998 and my first role was that of Learning Support Assistant. I then transitioned through different roles and responsibilities, up to the present moment where I now work hand in hand with families, managing Inspires’ family department. My beacon is my belief in the mandatory need for family support, empowerment and advocacy. Thankfully, the skills I acquired through my years of experience and my studies in Systemic Family Therapy, have helped me strengthen this belief.
Having been part of this organisation for so long helps me to capture the complexity of our NGO’s background; from where we came, the changes that took place along the years and obviously our direction as we keep moving forward.
I remember very fondly my years in the Conductive Education and Multi-sensory Programme (C.E.M.P.). The organisation was a fraction of what Inspire is today and this was very helpful to develop the bond and warmth that was transmitted within and between the different programmes, which were like family units.
So, when today I meet relatives and families who feel the nostalgia of those days, I sincerely get what they mean and empathise with the sense of loss that they might feel. At the same time, having remained and grown with the organisation, I also know what our mission and vision are today. The culture we want to instil with our families and staff. A culture of support, nurturance and advocacy.
All very similar to our ideas back then, but keeping in mind that we are now steering a ship which is approximately triple the size and wanting to reach as many families as possible. Also, being aware that the change we have been fostering as an NGO within the Maltese context, is a change that lasts and can reach out far. Using the words of Warren Buffett, a well know philanthropist; “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things take time…”
Throughout these years Inspire has invested where it believes it matters. It focused on accrediting and certifying its programmes and services. Specifically, the accreditation of our autism and therapeutic services with the National Autistic Society (NAS) and also our ISO Certifications. We progressively keep developing and solidifying our family support programmes, believing that supporting the family is equally (if not more) important for people with disabilities to reach their full potential and be significant contributors towards society.
Our family services have grown exponentially in fact and our greatest achievement is when we witness families, relatives and people with a disability who find the strength and courage to transform the energy that comes from their pain and struggles, into a positive force that brings along a ripple effect of goodness and richness.
Last but definitely not least, accompanied by the conviction that the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Hence, believing that the impact of a group of stakeholders who have at heart the vision of equality, would be much stronger than the contribution of a single entity, we opened up and keep spreading out our professional knowledge. We do this by supporting and collaborating with parents and other professional bodies and NGO’s, both locally and internationally. Our single aim is for our service users to be able to reach their full potential, be significant contributors towards society and to enjoy a prosperous quality of life.