Charlotte, due to her anxiety and mental health has a history of not enjoying being in crowded or public places for long periods of time. When at home Charlotte will choose to eat her meals in the comfort of her own bedroom and to spend a lot of time there rather than mixing in the communal areas of her house, as her bedroom is her safe comfortable place.
However things are changing…
Charlotte has gradually built up her confidence over a period of 10-12 months, now venturing out into the community with the support and excellent facilitation of her link-worker Helen. All of Charlotte’s short trips initially ended in one of Charlotte’s favoured activities – going to Macdonald’s! This really helped give Charlotte the encouragement to venture out and undertake new activities. Charlotte’s confidence has grown and she is now going out and about with any of the staff team which is a fantastic achievement for her.
Charlotte is now enjoying a wider variety of activities such as going to the cinema, haircuts and meals out. In particular we were so proud of Charlotte for visiting the German Christmas market in the centre of Birmingham. Charlotte travelled to Birmingham by train! Helen described Charlotte as being amazed by the big buildings in Birmingham. The German market is notoriously busy, noisy and crowded but Charlotte coped fantastically and looked around all the market stalls as she loves a bit of shopping particularly purchasing gifts for others. Charlotte also enjoyed having her photo taken with the Bull outside the Bull Ring shopping centre.
Helen reminded Charlotte that if at any point she would like to leave, they would leave straight away and go home, but Charlotte asked if she could go for lunch to Pizza Hut, which was also very busy due to the time of year. Charlotte coped very well with the pizza buffet and collecting her own food and drinks amongst lots of other people in the restaurant.
When it was actually time to leave for the day and head home, her trip out was extended due to a train cancellation. Helen explained to Charlotte that they needed to change platforms and catch a busier train. Again Charlotte coped very well with this change and travelled home on the train.
When Charlotte arrived back in Worcester she realised she had forgotten to buy an item on her list, however she had the confidence to venture into Worcester town centre to purchase the item she required.
The ability to cope with these busy and noises places has, and will continue to, open up so many opportunities for Charlotte. Supporting her to achieve all this has involved some skilful facilitation; but what great results. It is a fantastic achievement for Charlotte and we are very proud of her for having the courage to try new things.