Before connecting with MacIntyre's Great Communities Project, Morgan struggled with employment, was concerned about his health and felt socially isolated. Now, Morgan's made a host of new friends, is working towards becoming healthier and has never been closer to reaching his goals.
Where did it start?
After leaving college Morgan worked in various roles in call centres and warehouse distribution centres for an employment agency. He then had to help a family member through a period of ill health and struggled to balance working full time with his commitments at home.
Since leaving education Morgan felt he had become socially isolated. He connected with MacIntyre's Great Communities Project and heard about the friendship group. He decided to become a member to meet other people and try new things.
"I enjoyed meeting new people and a few old friends. It’s good to socialise with others and discover new things going on in the community like the retro gaming session Pete told us about."
What did we do next?
Morgan shared that he has concerns about his health as he feels he smokes too much. A relative’s cancer diagnosis was the catalyst he needed to try and quit smoking, but this wasn't easy.
Great Communities saw this as a real opportunity and connected Morgan with the quit smoking advisor at LiveWire, a community interest company established by Warrington Borough Council. The adviser agreed to support Morgan to stop smoking.
"I want to quit, as my auntie's health problems have made me aware of the risks of smoking. I’ve tried lots of different things to give it up, so the support from Livewire will hopefully help me."
The connection made with Ruth from LiveWire was a positive ongoing partnership for Great Communities. She could see the potential for extending the work of LiveWire, so came up with the idea of a small pilot ‘Cooksmart’ learning programme exclusively for people with learning difficulties and/or autism. The programme was designed to teach people to plan and prepare simple, affordable and healthy meals.
Morgan lives with his parents but has an aspiration to get his own place and manage his own household. One of his major concerns was he had limited experience in preparing meals. Great Communities mentioned the Cooksmart programme to Morgan and he was excited to enrol.
"I want to learn how to cook as I need to know stuff like this when I live on my own and can’t live on microwave meals, I would also like to cook for other people in my own place, like my family and friends. It’s a big learning curve as when my Mum and Dad are away I struggle to cook for myself."
What difference did it make?
Morgan is certain that meeting new friends, Livewire and getting involved with 'Cooksmart' has been hugely positive for him.
Peter Connor, MacIntyre's Great Communities Manager said:
"When Morgan asked for help about his lifestyle choices and independent living skills, we were more than happy to support him. I’m pleased with his focus and dedication to reach the targets he has set for himself. "
Morgan continues to develop his aspirations and stretch himself. He enjoys earning his own money and contributing to his family’s finances so is currently looking to gain employment.