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The top expert in how to support you is you.

Which is why Charlene, who we support, is proud to be speaking this week at a national personalisation and positive behaviour support conference.

Charlene’s in her thirties, and has a learning disability. She lives at our Abingdon residential service in Southport, having moved there after several earlier placements didn’t work out.

As a child and then an adult, Charlene has spent much of her life at various services, including at a secure hospital.

When she first moved to Abingdon, Charlene initially had two support workers with her at all times. Additionally, Charlene’s initial support plan included physical and medical restraint.

Our team supported Charlene with different approaches, including personalisation, where support is tailored to the needs of the individual, and using a proactive and therapeutic training model, called PROACT-SCIPr-UK.

After taking time to work with and get to know her, Charlene’s quality of life has dramatically improved.

Today, Charlene no longer has physical or medical restraints at all. And her support hours – meaning the time she actively receives support from our teams – has significantly reduced.

Charlene now wishes to use her experiences to inform professionals who support individuals with varying needs, and behaviours that challenge.

And as an expert by experience, professionals tend to listen to Charlene!

Finding better ways

That’s why Charlene worked with Kelly Stretch, PROACT-SCIPr-UK Centre Coordinator and Lifeways’ Specialist Support Lead for the North Region, to feature in a training video where she talks about what it feels like to be restrained, and better ways to support someone.

This week, on Thursday 13 October, Charlene will be speaking at Loddon Training’s conference in Basingstoke, in a workshop she has co-produced with Kelly Stretch.

Caption: Kelly Stretch, who has worked with Charlene to co-produce the upcoming conference session. 

The session will be called ‘My life, my way, not what others say.’

At her session, Charlene will talk from experience about:

  • the importance of listening and acting on what a person says
  • how it feels to have other people making decisions about her life without including her, and the impact this had on her behaviour and quality of life
  • and her past, present, and future.

Alongside Charlene, Kelly is excited to co-present the session.

“Charlene is extremely proud of all she has achieved,” says Kelly. “Her commitment to never give up, and to share her journey and experiences is admirable.”

For Charlene, this Golden Rule is key to better care.

“Treat people you support how you want to be treated,” she says.

Good luck with the session, Charlene!


About Abingdon:

Based in Southport, Merseyside, Abingdon is a Lifeways residential care home which supports adults with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, and mental health conditions.

Set in a beautiful, detached Victorian house, Abingdon is made up of nine-bedrooms, multiple communal areas, and an accessible garden.

About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community. 

Our 11,000 colleagues currently support almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales. 

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