“Look what your amazing staff and our amazing son did today. We’re so chuffed!"
That is the response that our team in Wrexham received from *Keith’s mum, a young man who is supported by MacIntyre after she received photographs of Keith shopping, a moment that was seven years in the making.
For many people, shopping is just something that we do. We don’t think about it, we just do it. But for Keith, the experience of shopping was overwhelming; the sensory overload, the noise, smells and so many choices were a barrier.
The first time the team supported Keith to go to the shops, he found it incredibly difficult. Overwhelmed by the environment, Keith struggled to take another step, eventually laying down on the shop floor.
Speaking about the moment, Tom a Senior Support Worker in Wrexham said:
“On reflection, even though we had supported him for 12 months, Keith was still learning to trust his team.”
At the time, Keith had been through a lot of changes; settling into a new house and getting to know a whole new team of people who were there to support him.
The team decided to change their focus from daily living activities, to supporting Keith to tolerate social settings and build on his interactions with other people. From here, he started going to the Eco Centre in Wrexham. Slowly, over time, Keith started to settle into interactiing with others.
The team didn’t attempt shopping again until five years later.
Tom remembers that he was out supporting Keith with Nikki, another Support Worker in Wrexham. They went to Llandudno, a coastal town in North Wales, which was a familiar place for Keith. Each time he would visit, Keith always used the same public toilets. However, when he arrived in Llandudno one day, the public toilets were out of order.
Looking for an alternative, he spotted a Morrisons. Tom decided to try and support Keith to use the toilets there and was delighted when Keith managed to walk through the busy shop to go to the toilets. He started to wonder if this meant that Keith was now ready to go shopping.
Tom, together with Keith’s other support workers, started to plan how they could make shopping a success. They identified an Aldi and a quiet time of day to support him.
The shopping trip went better than they could have hoped. Keith chose his food, he pushed the trolley, he loaded the food onto the conveyor belt and he waited in the queue. The trip was massive success.
Since then, Keith has continued to do his own shopping. He loves making choices. Alongside Amber a Senior Support Worker who he trusts, he has been able to go shopping on a one to one basis, rather than with two members of staff, which is another wonderful achievement for him and his team.
Well done Keith!
*The person's name has been changed
If you would like to find out more about our support in Wrexham, contact us using the form below.