‘A sense of confidence’: How a trip to Spain inspired Jordan, who we support at our Wandsworth, London supported living service, to boost his independence!
Jordan, who lives at our Wandsworth supported living service in London, feels most comfortable when he’s staying at home.
But after a first-time trip to Spain, he’s boosted his independence and is now planning more trips and even going to college.
Jordan, who’s in his twenties and lives with a learning disability, didn’t usually enjoy going out to take part in activities, including socialising and travelling.
When presented with the option to socialise, he’d often be interested - but then decide later he’d rather stay at home.
His support team, led by Service Manager Charleen Fagan, felt that it was time to encourage Jordan to boost his independence.
Caption: Jordan decided on a trip to Barcelona, accompanied by a member of his support team!
“We initiated a plan to actively support Jordan to break the routine of cancelling activities, which would improve his quality of life,” says Charleen.
Breaking out of routine
To break Jordan out of his routine, Charleen’s team was faced with a common dilemma familiar to support teams in every positive, person-centred environment: how do you respect and support the individual’s choices, while boosting independence at the same time?
The answer, Charleen knew, was her team gently dropping Jordan ideas and inspiration for quick, easy activities – such as getting to know someone new, or going to the local park.
“We made sure never to lecture Jordan, and instead encouraged him to use his own initiative and come up with plans himself, promoting his independence,” says Charleen.
Planting a seed
According to Charleen, a key part of person-centred, independence-boosting support is to “plant that seed – of inspiration, motivation, and personal growth – and nurture it.”
Jordan had also long expressed a wish to go to college – so his support team mentioned continuing his education in casual conversations with him, expressing how they’d support him enrolling, if he wanted to.
Around the same time, Charleen decided to offer five local support services in the area to contribute to our forums, which see individuals we support get together and brainstorm ideas to better the support they receive.
In the process of being involved in the forum, Jordan met new people, and has struck up a friendship with another individual we support. Making a new friend increased Jordan’s confidence in planning activities outside his home.
‘A huge step’
“This was a huge step for Jordan,” says Charleen. “He would not have previously sought out activities outside his home.”
For Jordan, the saying that a large journey must begin with a single step proved to be true. After Jordan expressed a wish to travel abroad, his support team worked with his family to start making holiday plans.
Caption: Jordan had a great time in Spain - and now he's back, he feels more capable and independent.
To reduce the risk of Jordan cancelling his trip last minute, his support team put several steps in place to give him peace of mind, including:
- Speaking to a travel agent on Jordan’s behalf – with Jordan involved in the conversation
- Presenting Jordan with several hotel and location options, after he expressed a wish to go to Spain
- Making fun holiday activities easier and more accessible for Jordan by suggesting to him various all-inclusive options
Jordan then decided on a trip to Barcelona, accompanied by a member of his support team. The holiday was “a great success,” says Charleen.
“Jordan enjoyed his lunches and dinners, and evening discos – and didn’t end up cancelling any activity he decided on,” she adds.
Now Jordan’s back from Spain, he feels more capable and independent.
Jordan’s already planning a November trip this year for his birthday, and he’s now setting in motion his plans to go to college. He’s got in mind the nearby South Thames College, and wants to do a course in either Sports or IT.
His support team are delighted.
“The trip has solidified a sense of confidence in Jordan that he did not previously have,” says Charleen.
“Due to the encouragement of his support team, he knows that there is so much to see in the world, and we can support him to do so.”
Well done, Jordan – it’s great to support you to live your best life!
About Lifeways in London:
Lifeways, which operates around 1,500 supported living and residential services across England and Scotland, offers multiple supported living services across London.
Our London services support adults living with autism, learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and physical disabilities. Some London properties are purpose-built flats, while others are shared houses.
When you choose supported living, you’re choosing to live independently, safe and secure behind your own front door. There’s peace of mind in knowing the Lifeways team is on-hand, providing tailored support that helps people to lead more fulfilling lives, surrounded by like-minded people.
What’s more, all of our supported living services in London are located in residential areas, offering convenience and easily-available amenities to the people we support.