Due to the current national and localised restrictions in Wales as a result of Covid-19, times have never been tougher in trying to maintain fulfilling and meaningful relationships with the people we support and their families. At Ty Coedwig, our team saw these restrictions as merely a challenge to overcome and have been successful in working with individuals in a positive manner in order to maintain their mental health. For instance, there has been consistent contact with families, whether this is a drive-by visit, phone call, or through video. Our team have also built on local resources and community groups, working alongside them to help in the community while also being able to provide training and experience to the people we support.
At the home, there are currently several individuals in voluntary work. Although restrictions have hampered this slightly, they are all eagerly waiting to go back into these placements, which range from working in charity shops to various day centres. Individuals at Ty Coedwig have also become green fingered recently, taking their experience from working with Growing Space and have started various projects in an allotment. They have used this knowledge to create their own vegetable allotments and have been developing their cooking skills by taking part in online cookery classes. They thoroughly enjoy cooking, making new recipes and trying new food. Before lockdown, they were planning to work in a shop under Growing Space and sell the vegetables they grow to fund the charity.
Since Ty Coedwig has been open a little over a year, everyone has built strong relationships within the local community in the surrounding area. Alongside Growing Space, they also work with the community in taking part in local litter picking and Tin on a Wall, where tins of food and produce are collected for individuals in need of extra support and food. They also got involved locally for VE Day and celebrated their first year anniversary in September!
Current Covid-19 restrictions have been tough on us all but Ty Coedwig believe that leading a healthy life can positively affect everyone’s mental health. That’s why the team have set up and run a bike club which the majority of the people we support take part in. The home has various days where individuals can take part in games and activities to help break up the day, alongside days where everyone goes for walks in the local area, taking in the wonderful sights. The team have also transformed an old kitchen into a craft room/fitness room which individuals can use for their leisure or for exercise. Not only this, there’s been pamper days which everyone has hugely enjoyed, with many more pamper sessions hopefully taking place in the near future!
Meet the people we support…
Say hello to Ian! Ian moved into Ty Coedwig in April of last year and is quickly approaching his one year anniversary of being at the home. Ian moved from another one of our services in the local area. Despite this being a big thing for him, he has thrown himself into various activities and clubs, such as the bike club and the home’s fitness club. He is now looking forward to getting back to his usual activities that he previously enjoyed, such as playing football at Newport Leisure Centre and taking part in archery (and going to the pub occasionally!).
Rico currently lives in flat 3 (Ian’s neighbour as he likes to be called), and is the home’s longest resident, having moved in on day one of the building opening up! Rico is a big fan of Newport County and Newport Gwent Dragons and went for a stadium tour shortly before lockdown (pictured below). Rico enjoys taking part in the bike club (alongside Ian, Alex, Dwayne and Leon), and you can often find him cycling through several of the nature trails situated in the local area. Rico has also taken part in various in-house activities, such as a facemask evening, and enjoys taking part in projects alongside Growing Space.
Alex is one of the newest residents at Ty Coedwig. Before lockdown restrictions, Alex enjoyed going to college where he took part in a daily living skills course. Like many of us, it took a while for Alex to come to terms with lockdown, but with a little encouragement from his housemates alongside staff support, he has come on leaps and bounds! Alex has recently learned how to ride a bike – a massive achievement which the team could not be prouder about! Alongside cycling, he has taken up baking (he spent time with Rico baking scones pictured below), and enjoys taking part in projects run by Growing Space alongside his friends.
Adi, along with most of us, has had a tough year. She has found it even more difficult as she’s not been able to see her son as much due to restrictions. Despite this, Adi has stayed positive and occupied her time by taking part in “diamond art”, where she shapes books into whatever she wants to at the time (yes, she does take requests!). Alongside this, she gets involved in face mask evenings, has taken part in dog therapy and has also joined fitness evenings with housemates. She also spent holiday occasions with her son when restrictions allowed her to.
Say hello to our fitness and Cardiff City fanatic, Alex! Before Covid-19 struck, Alex was no stranger to visiting his local gym three or four times a week and could often be found on a Saturday either on the train to Cardiff or on the supporters coach to a Cardiff City away game. Alex has done amazingly well considering he hasn’t been able to enjoy either. Recently, he completed his first award in football coaching with a hope that one day he can coach a disability football team (the award was meant to be completed in 2/3 months, but due to Alex’s commitment and determination, he took 4 weeks!). The team are very proud of Alex for achieving his lifelong goal of entering employment – he has been successful in gaining a placement in Ebbw Vale. Congratulations Alex!
Say hi to Damien, Damien moved into Ty Coedwig in February and has not looked back since! He’s no stranger to work and before Covid-19, could be found at his day centre placement five days a week. He isn’t working at this moment in time but Damien hasn’t let that stop him. He’s a dab hand at crafting and often makes things such as t-shirts for Achieve together, with the hope of designing other t-shirts for homes in the surrounding area! As you can see below, Damien has also spent time maintaining the garden area and the grounds, and has started Ty Coedwig’s very own vegetable patch with fellow housemates.
Say hello to the newest member of the Ty Coedwig family, Jack! Despite only moving in in March, he has already made some close friends at the home. Jack enjoys all things technology related and despite being quite a shy individual, he has already made the effort to spend time outside with fellow housemates like going for walks in the surrounding areas, and having film/game nights with our team.
Leon is Ty Coedwig’s handyman! There’s nothing that Leon will not put his hand to. He enjoys being sociable and is a very friendly and welcoming person. After taking the big step of moving away from his family to a flat by himself in South Wales, the restrictions hit him hard as this limited how often he could see his parents (this has meant he has not seen them since July of last year). Our team have supported Leon by encouraging him to take part in bike rides, and volunteer with local community groups such as Tin on a Wall, community litter picking, and any other projects he can join in with.
Kingsley is also one of the home’s newest residents. Kingsley moved all the way from Kent where he lived in a supported living house which was a stone’s throw from his mum’s house. Despite this convenience, Kingsley took a massive step in deciding to move closer to his extended family. Kingsley’s move could not have gone better! His family have been very supportive of the team at Ty Coedwig and Kingsley is enjoying his time very much.
Lee is one of the individuals who has been at Ty Coedwig the longest! Lee has done very well during his time at the home, and despite lockdown, has pushed himself even further. One of Lee’s goals was to become healthier and gain some weight, which he is currently achieving, and the team could not be prouder of him! He enjoys visiting the local parks and putting his efforts into craft works (as you can see below, he built his very own bird box). Lee also celebrated his 41st birthday party with housemates and staff.
Dwayne is Ty Coedwig’s in-house technology guru! If anyone has any issues with a computer/games console/you name it, Dwayne can fix it. Dwayne enjoys bike rides, exploring local attractions, and taking his drone to Pen-Y-Fan pond to make films which he then edits in-house. Dwayne is also an active member in various support groups and communities online, and helps support various causes (LGBTQ+ being a big one that is close to his heart).
Thank you so much to our team at Ty Coedwig for continuing to deliver outstanding support, even in the most challenging of times. And well done to the people we support for building such strong relationships in the community, being open to new activities and projects, and ultimately making our team proud each and every day!