This week I’d like to celebrate the good work our services in Wilshire are doing.
Grange Court specialised in autism spectrum conditions and they look after four individuals with complex needs, including autism and associated communication difficulties.
I spoke to Francesca, Deputy manager at Grange Court, and asked her what staff are most proud of at the service. She said “We’re proud that the people we support have managed to achieve positive things whilst living here, which previously they’d said weren’t possible! For example, someone we support recently went to a bakery on her own and someone she knew saw her. The friend was amazed that she was able to access a bakery and purchase something for herself. Something she’d never thought was possible.”
Francesca also told me about Monica, who is now enjoying cycling outside more. Francesca said “I wrote a risk assessment, had the bike serviced and Monica took up the offer. She rode her bike down to the pub which is a 10-15 minute ride away. She parked her bike outside, had a meal and rode it back to Grange Court. Doing a bike ride is now on Monica’s activity planner to do twice a week, as she enjoyed it so much. It’s great for her health and she loves it! She also recently went to B&Q and purchased flowers for her own garden. She cleared her garden of weeds and planted the new plants she had brought.
Thanks to support and encouragement from staff, Monica has been accessing the community a lot more this year and making her own choices about where she’d like to go.”
Everyone at Grange Court is looking forward to exciting future events. Francesca said “We’re planning on joining a local community volunteer clean up. All the people who live at Grange Court love walking in their local area and we want to keep it nice and clean! Everyone at the service is looking forward to showing off and proving that we can do amazing things. We’re planning a range of new activities in the new year and ways to become more involved in our local community.”
Durlston Lodge is a service for people with autism spectrum conditions, behaviours that may challenge and learning disabilities. They have a friendly, family centred approach and a lovely warm environment.
Megan Williams, manager at Durlston Lodge said “We’re proud of how far the people who live here have come – each individual has their own story and has faced their own challenge in life, but to watch them all grow and develop over the years, achieving goals which others didn’t think was possible is amazing and for all staff involved. It’s a pleasure to work alongside these amazing adults!”
One example of this is Sophie, who recently attended her sister’s wedding. Megan said “A few years ago Sophie wouldn’t have been able to attend such an event due to her anxiety linked to her autism. After much planning and preparation with keyworkers and family, Sophie attended this event and even surprised all her family by wearing a bridesmaid dress. Sophie stayed the entire day and danced her way into the night. Everyone at the wedding was extremely proud of Sophie!”
Megan added “We’re continuing to develop the individuals who live here and encouraging them to take another step forward. We’re looking forward to a holiday for all next year.”
Durlston House caters for adults with autism spectrum conditions and has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere.
Shelley Barnes, the manager, told me “We’re proud of the people we support for letting us into their lives and supporting them to lead fulfilling lives and reach their potential. The staff team are dedicated to offering a holistic approach to the people we support, which enables them to grow and flourish.”
One nice example of success from Durlston is of Carolyn, who has historically found it difficult to leave the house without the use of a car. Staff member Brynne carefully planned a short walking trip for Carolyn and utilised a range of Carolyn’s favourite character pictures, placing them along the walking route for her to find. Brynne also filmed the route prior to going out so she could prepare Carolyn watching it with her. The walking trip was very successful and Carolyn enjoyed every minute!
Starbrook caters for adults with autism spectrum conditions, epilepsy and communication and learning difficulties as well as sensory needs. They specialise in specific communication packages to enable people to have a voice and support each person to gain access to the local community and achieve their needs and wishes.
Hannah England, manager of Starbrook said “We’ve have learnt to never underestimate anyone, as they continue to surprise and inspire us all, in every single way. We are a close-knit team with passion and dedication to see people achieve what once was impossible.”
A big success has been Liam, who was supported through life changing surgery and adapted his routine. Staff have helped him maintain a healthy lifestyle and he’s now accessing many activities and remaining as active as possible. Staff enable him to continue swimming – something he really enjoys and looks forward too.
Hannah continued “We’re all looking forward to Christmas – it’s a big event for us at Starbrook, so we like to celebrate all month. There are reindeers at a local store nearby and people will get the choice if they’d like to go and see the animals. Future ambitions for Starbrook are to look into volunteer work and potentially employment for some of the people we support, as their independence and understanding has improved so much, that we want to enable and empower them even more!”
Keep up the good work Wiltshire!
Note: We have permission to use peoples’ first names