Evergreen Lodge recently held an election to nominate one of its residents to represent everyone who lives at the home. The service, located in South Croydon, is a residential service, providing mental health support and forensic rehabilitation services.
“It is a democratic way of choosing their own representative as service users,” said Therapeutic Activities Coordinator Yancy Reyes Mababangloob, who organised the election. “It also develops self-confidence for the participating candidates who stand for leadership, to their co-service users.”
The campaign period began with three pre-selected candidates, nominated by the residents themselves. Flyers and posters were distributed and displayed, and there was a campaign meeting where the candidates showcased their platforms and agendas to everybody at the service. During the initial stages, the number of candidates was brought down to two, and then the final winner was determined by ballot voting.
The winning candidate will hold the position for six months, and be responsible for acting as liaison between all residents and Evergreen Lodge management. They will be responsible for:
- Attending resident meetings
- Advocating for residents' choices
- Promoting a culture of change
- Organising social events at the home
- Serving as a role model for other residents with good behaviour and values
The ballots were counted at Evergreen Lodge, and the winning resident received a trophy and a special lunch package from Toby's Carvery. “The winner garnered the majority of the votes,” said Yancy. “He pledged to do his duty and thanked everyone for their support. Everyone was happy as we partied after proclaiming the winner.”
The election of a resident representative is a great example of how services like Evergreen Lodge can empower those who live there, by giving them a voice and an opportunity to make a difference.
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