‘Living his absolute best life’: How Paul, who we support in our Doncaster supported living service, is thriving!
Paul, who we support at our Doncaster supported living service, has been growing in confidence and learning new skills ever since he moved in this spring – and his family are delighted.
Paul’s in his forties, and lives with a learning disability. He grew up with his mum, Diane, who was devoted to his wellbeing.
“She did absolutely everything for him,” recalls Bev, Paul’s aunt.
As a result, Paul lived in a ‘lovely bubble where he didn’t have to worry about anything because his mum would take care of it.’
This meant that Paul had very little independence.
However, in 2021, Paul’s world came crashing down.
In November, Diane was taken ill and rushed to hospital. Tragically, she passed away the next day – just three months after her husband’s own passing.
As well as leaving her family devastated, The sudden passing of Paul’s mum left them – and Paul – in crisis. “We had no idea what we needed to do for Paul,” says Bev.
“Overnight he lost everything.”
Thankfully, Paul had a lifeline – a respite centre which he had regularly visited, which supported him on an emergency basis.
Yet now, the immediate priority of Paul’s family was to find more permanent support for Paul.
His aunt Bev had never had any real interactions with social workers before, and didn’t know how to navigate the often confusing system of securing support.
“We had to put our grief to one side,” Bev recalls. The coming days of contacting local authorities seemed to blur together.
‘We didn’t know where to start’
“Paul didn’t have an assigned social worker, we didn’t have a clue about the difference between key workers, advocates and social workers, we didn’t know where to start.”
Eventually, Paul’s family secured him a social worker from the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
Meanwhile, Paul was coping better than expected. At the respite centre, where he was staying, he had discovered a new-found independence, and began to exercise. During his six months at the centre, he lost four stones of his body weight.
Paul’s social worker found several possible supported living placements, which he visited with his family.
To make a long story short, Paul and his family decided he’d be most suited to live at Horseshoe Court, a Lifeways supported living service in a shared house which was home to two other people.
‘A place of happiness’
“Immediately we knew that this was a home of happiness, care, love, and kindness,” says Bev. “We knew Paul would be happy there and we were right.”
Paul moved to Horseshoe Court in May this year. Since then, Paul’s family have been stunned by his new-found confidence and growing independence.
Caption: Settling in at Horseshoe Court: Paul's been learning lots of new skills - like prepping food!
“The progress he has made since moving in to Horseshoe Court is amazing,” says Bev.
“He is happy and content, he is growing in confidence every day and he is learning new skills. He really does amaze us every day.”
‘Bursting with pride’
“His mum would be bursting with pride if she could see him - and see how he has not only coped but developed over the last few months.”
The credit, Bev says, is due to Paul’s support team at Horseshoe Court.
“They go over and above what we would have even dreamt of. Because of these wonderful people, Paul is fulfilling his potential and becoming the man he has always been capable of being.”
“He is living his absolute best life, and if anything positive can come from Diane [Paul’s late mum] passing away, this is it.”
Bev gives her special thanks to three members of Paul’s support team: Joe, Michelle, and Casie.
Horseshoe Court’s Service Manager, Dawn Boucher, describes Paul’s journey towards a more fulfilling life as ‘wonderful.’
“Paul has fitted in really well to our Horseshoe Court family. It’s wonderful to see his confidence grow and to see him become more independent, forge new friendships and learn new skills.”
It’s our pleasure to support you, Paul!
About Horseshoe Court:
Located in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Horseshoe Court is a three-bedroom detached shared house where people are welcomed and supported to live independent lives. Outside there’s a garden with a patio area for everyone to enjoy.
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.
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