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It's Learning Disability (LD) Week 2023! This week, from 19-25 June, we'll be running stories on social media and our website all about the individuals we support.

Joshua, who we support at Weston Road, our Stoke-on-Trent residential service, has been settling in well after a long stay in hospital before his move – and he’s overcome his initial anxieties!

Joshua, who is non-verbal, is in his early thirties. In a previous placement, Josh struggled with eating and not taking medication, which led to him moving to the Harplands Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.

There, hospital staff worked with Josh to build back his confidence.

 In December 2022, to gain greater independence and quality of life, he moved to Weston Road, a small Lifeways service which supports four people living with learning disabilities or autism.

Over the course of six weeks, our support team worked with the Harplands staff to ensure a smooth transition, and continuity of support.

At first, Joshua didn’t feel like exploring his new home. He would spend all his time in his bedroom.

“He didn’t like to explore other areas of the house,” said Niamh Campbell, the service’s Registered Manager.

However, over the months, Joshua began to gain more confidence in his surroundings. He started to spend time in the lounge each afternoon, doing jigsaws, colouring, or just relaxing and watching television.

Gaining confidence

Then, as he gained more confidence, Joshua felt it was time to go outside the service. These days, he goes into town twice a day for lunch and tea, taken by his support team in his car.

Joshua also enjoys going for long walks and to different cafés.

“It has been very slow steps with Joshua,” says Niamh. “Joshua has his routine, and this is extremely important to him. Any break in this routine can cause him anxiety – but we are working very closely with Joshua to put in different small goals for him to work towards so as not to upset his routine.”

‘A very happy mum and son’

Joshua also enjoys weekly visits from his mum, Louise, which puts a big smile on his face.

“Joshua has settled with the support team from day one,” says Louise. “His support team kept me informed from Weston Road every day for the first few weeks he moved there, and nearly 6 months later Joshua has done nothing but smile.”

Niamh, the manager, is looking forward to supporting Joshua to gain yet more confidence, and meet more independence milestones.

“Well done Joshua, and a big well done to the team at Weston Road, who have worked so well with Joshua to build up his confidence and ensure he settled in well to his new home,” says Niamh.

It’s great to support you, Joshua!


About Lifeways:

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

We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions. 

 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. 

Find out more about how we change people's lives at:  

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