Recently I spent the afternoon at Crosby Close, St Albans, 20th Anniversary Party. I have been fortunate to have been connected to these services for the past 7 years. There were staff old and new and families past and present.
I was talking to one Mum of someone who has been supported there, since it opened. I asked what had changed over the years. She said that she remembered that on the very first time she visited, how the staff who were working (after making a point that there were far less staff on shift, back in the day..), sat down on the floor so that they were talking to her son at eye level, in his wheelchair.
I looked around me and saw three people supported in wheelchairs, each with staff and families sitting down next to them, engaging using great eye contact. One person was being supported with some of the delicious buffet: staff brought a selection for her to choose from, she chose the lot! And staff and her Mum laughed as they supported her to eat it, a little at a time.
As I looked around the green where the celebrations were taking place there were staff sitting at tables with people who live at the services. Staff were dancing with people, including people who were having a boogie in their chairs.
Another parent commented that their daughter had a nice top on for the party and had pleasure in telling me that she had been out with one of the staff to buy it. The Dad was really pleased that his daughter had been able to go shopping ‘with the girls’.
It’s great to get the feedback from families and it doesn’t have to be anything huge and adventurous to please a family: just Great Interactions, a simple party, good food, good company and a GREAT CAKE!
Here’s to another 20 years!!
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire