Frequently asked questions

We've tried to include the most common questions we get asked but if you have a question that we've missed please get in touch!

What is self advocacy?

  • Self-advocacy is the ability to speak-up for yourself and the things that are important to you
  • Self-advocacy means you are able to ask for what you need and want and tell people about your thoughts and feelings
  • Self-advocacy means you know your rights and responsibilities, you speak-up for your rights, and you are able to make choices and decisions that affect your life
  • The goal of self-advocacy is for YOU to decide what you want then develop and carry out a plan to help you get it. It does not mean you can't get help if you need or want it, it just means that you are making the choices and you have to be responsible for the choices you make

How do I join?

Joining Our Vision Our Future is easy. Contact us and we can arrange a time for you to come and visit. You can come on your own or with a carer, support worker, guardian or parent.

One of our members will show you around and tell you more about what goes on here.

After this if you decide you would like to become a member we fill in a membership form and complete a short risk assessment together.

Get in touch now!

How long has OVOF been going?

OVOF was begun in 1992 and we celebrated our 25 year anniversary in 2017.

What will I get out of joining?

We (members) - support each other to be as independent as possible. Because we are fully involved, listened to and our views taken seriously, we are more able to make choices and speak up for ourselves.

We are happier, more relaxed and confident. Our self esteem and self worth improves along with our health and well being. With the right support we stop saying 'I'm sorry' or 'I can't do this.

Will joining OVOF help me build confidence?

Member Marvin Britland: "I met my fiancé here. We've had a lot of support to help our relationship move forward. I'm more confident and independent and do a lot more for myself. I have jobs to do which makes me feel good. It keeps me well, happy and active with opportunities like swimming, cycling and horse riding which we wouldn't access without OVOF."

Member James Sandner: "I help run OVOF and help members. I can use and improve my skills doing real work which gives me purpose, builds my confidence and makes me feel good and proud of myself. It keeps me happy, my friends are here. We laugh a lot and talk about good things and bad. We do lots of stuff, activities chosen by members. We put on a show in the community; it was fantastic. OVOF is different, we are treated as the grownups we are. We get lots of opportunity to try new things to reach our potential."

Can we learn new skills at OVOF?

Yes! Conversation, crafts, pool, computer skills - as well as more ambitious activities like horseriding or putting on a show.

Can I come and go in the day?

Yes, absolutely. It's up to you - some of our members stay inside all day doing crafts, playing games, using the computer or playing pool, whilst some walk into Chesterfield town centre for a coffee. We do ask members to sign in and out though, so we know who is here in case of an emergency.

Are there accessible toilets?

Yes - we are on the ground floor and have male and female toilets which are both wheelchair accessible. We also have a ramp for the back entrance for when we use the outside space.

Are there any other groups like OVOF in Chesterfield?

Not really. Fairplay is a charity with similar goals to OVOF, but focuses on support for children and young people aged 0-25. We are unique!

Why is OVOF important to members?

Volunteer Janet Pawley explains: "It's a friendly place and makes everyone welcome. We have a lot of fun and laugh a lot. All members take an active part in running the place and achieve a great deal".