Winner! Making things happen award

Loreta French has made a dramatic difference to one man’s life leading to a significant increase in his skills, activities and general outlook

Positive risk taking is an approach we encourage for everyone we support. Supported carefully, it can enrich people’s lives enabling them to experience new opportunities and reach goals and dreams.

Emboldened by her new manager, Support Worker Loreta French made a huge difference to Paul’s life in just six months. Paul was interested in trying new things, especially anything transport-related, but was also fearful. He could become overwhelmed in social scenarios and unfamiliar situations.

Making a difference

Loreta works at a Supported Living home in the Wirral (586). Home Manager James Sapple says: “Many people felt that there were a lot of things that were unachievable for Paul. However, Loreta has played a key part in creating positive outcomes and ‘Making things happen’ for him.”

Loreta had already developed a wonderful rapport with Paul, who is in his late thirties has a severe learning disability and is autistic. With patience and understanding, she supported him to develop significant new skills. Among these are: accepting and wearing of clothing in his own home regularly; meal preparation and housework; sitting at a dining table while dressed and using a knife and fork to eat; using public transport, with support.

Milestones and confidence

Everyone we support is unique with individual ability levels; these new skills represent huge milestones in Paul’s achievements. Building trust and a strong relationship Loreta helped him to overcome fears and progress. As Paul mastered one skill, he became more confident to try others and these many incremental wins have had a dramatic impact on his quality of life.

Previously confined to using his own car, Paul is now loving using different modes of public transport – buses, ferries and trains near his home on the Wirral. Careful planning of each trip by Loreta and Paul, has made each a success. It has led to new destinations and experiences such as Liverpool Christmas market, Blackpool illuminations, walking to the top of Moelfamau and numerous other walks and visits to nearby attractions.

Shopping and social interactions

Paul has even been to a theme park, going on the rides, and completed his own shopping pushing the trolley and choosing items from the shelves, both with support from team members.

Furthermore, he has now experienced multiple social settings that previously would have overwhelmed him. He managed them brilliantly, interacting well with people he didn’t know and the environment they were in.

James Sapple comments: “I’m extremely proud of the work Loreta has done. She always has had a positive attitude and just wants to achieve positive outcomes for the people we support.

“During their review visit Paul’s social worker saw how much more he was doing. It’s good to see that this is being noted by other parties as well.”

With new and broader horizons, and a more outgoing attitude, there’s no telling what adventures Paul will be engaging in next.

Making things happen award

At our 2024 Heroes Awards, Loreta won the Making things happen award. It is presented annually to a team member or team that consistently enables those we support to live happy, healthy, and meaningful lives. In short, they haven’t just had good ideas, they’ve made them a reality.

Of receiving the award, Loretta says: “It was lovely to receive the nominations from my co-workers and to win the award was a nice surprise as I did not expect it.

“The award has helped me to re-energise my commitment to healthcare and to progress to the next level in my career.”