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ashley, holly, paul supported living services

Ashley, Holly, and Paul live at three separate Lifeways supported living services across the country. Here, we tell their stories of transitioning from other services and settings, and how they came to thrive with us.

He’s like a gentle giant’: Ashley’s story

Ashley (R) seen here with a Support Worker and his friend Peter (L).

Ashley, who’s in his sixties and lives with a learning disability, grew up in care services and spent much of his adult life in institutions.

Ashley had previously been living at a hospital and lived with lots of people – so moving from a secure setting to supported living service was quite a change.

Then 16 years ago, Ashley, moved to a supported living service in Essex, run by Living Ambitions. In 2016, the Lifeways Group acquired Living Ambitions.

Ashley is a tall and energetic man. He’s inquisitive and is sometimes described as having a big personality.

His inquisitive nature led to him having a negative reputation as being loud and threatening.  He would at times get into trouble, such as when he would break into the cars of the Support Team.  

That’s why some professionals felt there was a high risk for Ashley when he moved into the community.

So how did we work to help meet Ashley’s needs?

By using person-centred approaches, the Support Team started to understand what was important to Ashley.

For example, they knew he loved cars, and we channelled his energy into a meaningful activity and introduced him to Go Karting. He loved it.

His Support Team tapped into his inquisitive nature, by offering him lots of new activities and opportunities. The team found that he loved golf and this became an integral part of his Positive Behaviour Support plan.

Before the pandemic, when Ashley felt frustrated, he liked nothing better than taking himself to the driving range and in his words, “whacking a few balls”.

Ashley’s now developed golf as self-coping skill technique to manage his feelings.  

His own pace

“He’s a lovely guy, like a gentle giant,” says Mel Adams, a Senior Support Worker at the service.

“Where he lives now, unlike at the institutions he grew up in, he takes things at his own pace,” adds Mel. “He takes the lead – and if he wants to do something, he does it.

“His quality of life is much better since he moved here.”


‘She’s really blossomed’: Holly’s story

Holly, wearing yellow, with her father, (R) the Support Team, and other individuals she lives with celebrating her birthday.

When her mother passed away in 2019, Holly experienced a double tragedy.

She’d lost her beloved mum - and her main carer.

Her father then became her main carer. However, he found the level of support needed by Holly increasingly difficult.

After lots of thought about Holly’s future, her father decided that a support living service would be suited for his daughter.

Holly was offered a place at a supported living bungalow run by Lifeways in Leicester.

‘A really good success story’

Since arriving at William Smith House, Holly’s settled in brilliantly. She recently enjoyed celebrating her birthday at the house, alongside her father, the Support Team, and other people who live there.

“This is a really good success story,” says John Farquharson, the Service Manager at the bungalow.

“The team and I have spent so much time getting to know Holly and ensuring she settles in well.”

“Holly’s different in so many ways to the other ladies who live here. For example, she’s non-verbal, so the team had to really work hard to get to know her. But with her dad’s help, we managed to get a routine together and now Holly has really blossomed with their support.”


‘I’ve made loads of new friends’: Paul’s story

Paul was living in a shared house with 3 other people. However, he found it difficult to settle there and started looking for a place of his own where he could relax and have his own space.

An opportunity came up and Paul jumped at the chance to live in his own apartment at Riding Gardens, a Lifeways supported living service near Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

“The staff were brilliant at the shared house,” says Paul. “But I didn’t feel comfortable sharing and really wanted a place of my own.”

Paul moved into his new apartment in February 2020. He’s settled in brilliantly.

‘I love it’

“Now I’m at a new place, I love it,” says Paul.

“It’s lovely and I’ve met a load of new friends. We are always hanging out together and we go to each other’s flats to chill out and listen to music. All the other tenants are really nice.

“I love my flat, I like having my own bathroom!”

We asked what Paul had been getting up to during lockdown, he said: “Not much really! I play rugby for the local team Bradford Bumbles so I’ve been missing that, but I have been talking to the coaches and preparing for the next games. I’m just enjoying having my own space and being with my new friends.”

About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK's largest team of professionals who support adults living in the community. Our 11,000 colleagues support almost 5,000 individuals who live with complex needs in 1,500 services across England, Scotland, and Wales.

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