Julian has been attending services in Chesterfield for many years now, he was one of around 180 learners who attended the large day centre ‘Ringwood’ when MacIntyre took over supporting individuals in Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire.
This story tells of the change from a traditional large day centre to a smaller community based hub and the positive impact that, and our way of working, has had on Julian’s life.
Julian spent a lot of his time in Ringwood not doing a great deal, preferring to sit alone or in a very small group of
friends throughout the day. He showed little or no interest in joining activities.
Julian was supported to make an informed choice as to which new hub he wished to attend and following a thorough consultation he elected to move to the New Square hub in the centre of Chesterfield.
In the early days at New Square Julian continued to not engage with either activities or staff, continuing as he had been doing for many years now. However, slowly, and with lots of small and positive interactions from staff, Julian started to express more and more interest in participating and staff identified that Julian wanted to learn how to make a hot drink.
Julian did not always vocalise when he wished to make a drink and at times would attempt to do it independently. This was congratulated by staff and positive encouragement was given along with appropriate support to ensure Julian was aware of the potential risks associated with the task. The staff team were required to be extra observant in recognising when Julian wished to make a drink so that they could respond and offer the appropriate support. After about 3 months Julian was able to make drinks independently and safely, and he continues to do so.
Julian’s success within this task has resulted in him wishing to make further developments and become more involved in the running of the hub. He is now an active member of the kitchen team that cleans down after lunch, helping with the washing up, and is starting to attend the weekly hub meetings.
Julian’s development over the last year has been tremendous and proven beyond any doubt that working in a facilitative way, in a smaller setting with a person centred focus and positive re-enforcement, has enabled him to become more independent and start to fulfil some of his goals. Each member of the staff team has played their part in Julian’s development and continues to do so. He has acted as an inspiration to everyone and we are all very excited about the future development of the learners we support across the Chesterfield hubs.
Senior Learning Support Worker, Chesterfield