Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory…

In late May I will be leaving MacIntyre after 11 years. Over the years, I’ve met so many amazing people- staff, families, and of course the people we support- and I just wanted to take this opportunity to look back at a few stand out moments.

When I first met Will…

…he put his head down the back of the sofa and kept it there. Will is a young man with autism who moved into Abbey House in Evesham about 4 years ago. He had never lived away from home before, and the back of the sofa for him was clearly preferable to interacting with a stranger. Today Will keeps his head out of the back of the sofa, sings, is cheerful, settled and a joy to visit, his staff team know him well and their interactions with Will are brilliantly casual and relaxed.  These are staff who, over the years have honed their skills in working with Will and the other people who live at Abbey House, and hanging out and watching the staff work their magic is quite wonderful.

Bird watching with Darren

Darren lives at Whiteladies Close in Worcester. He occasionally surprises us by developing a sudden interest in something outside of his normal sphere of reference, on this occasion, the birds in the garden. I figured that it was worth exploring and decided to test his knowledge a little, so I asked him “Darren, that bird on the fence, do you know what it is?” He said “no, mate” so I figured I’d give him a clue. I said “it’s a bird and it’s black…” to which he replied “dunno”, so I went on “well, it’s black…and it’s a bird”. After an interminably long pause, he said with certainty …”chicken”.  I wasn’t  quite sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting that – well worth the wait!

Darren has an ability to generate genuine love and affection from those who meet him and get to know him. Over the years I’ve witnessed staff and friends greet him with such joy and vice versa, and those interactions are always so filled with warmth and humour… I’ll miss our long discussions about 80’s bands, (he remains convinced that members of Abba hang out in his house!), Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin, (also, on occasion, just hanging out in his house) and of course, his rather unique sense of humour…

Disappointed Paul…

Visiting Paul at Bisley Close in Worcester almost always results in disappointment for him; he makes it quite clear that he feels let down by the state of any visitors’ or staff cars and makes a point of going outside to check any cars before coming back in and venting his disappointment. I have spent many years disappointing Paul; my wing mirror remains broken, my car is ‘filthy’ and the tyres ‘disgraceful’. And yet…these interactions with Paul are always filled with innate good humour- he shakes his head in mock sorrow, he walks me and others around the car pointing out any damage and he always, always gets a firm commitment from me to ‘fix it soon’… and I never do, because I somehow feel that turning up in a clean undamaged car would somehow be… disappointing for him.

Not a week goes by without me witnessing or hearing about some kind of memorable interaction; nothing earth shattering, just small examples of wonderful, good humoured staff supporting wonderful, good humoured people. Goodbye and thanks for all the memories…
Anita Warner,
Area Manager,
Worcestershire/Herefordshire

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