‘Such a big difference’: a Lifeways supported living service in Doncaster helps Luke attend local activity service!
Luke, who lives in Doncaster and is supported at our three-person supported living service run by Living Ambitions, part of Lifeways, is taking part in therapy which has ‘massively improved’ his quality of life.
Luke is in his twenties and has a learning disability, as well as physical and sensory needs.
Eight years ago, Luke moved from children’s services to our supported living service, a shared house.
After learning how to support Luke, his team looked for opportunities to enhance his quality of life.
Previously, he hadn’t had many opportunities to get out and about. With the agreement of Luke’s social worker to increase his one-to-one support hours, the support team was able to spend more focused time with him.
Back to the community
“We slowly reintroduced Luke to the community,” recalls Debbie Gilliland, Luke’s Service Manager at Lifeways.
The support team started by taking Luke to local places, such as the park in his wheelchair.
After it became clear that Luke enjoyed being outside, the team took him to a cafe for cake. The team then became more ambitious, taking Luke to the seaside and a wildlife park. These days, Luke regularly goes into town for dinner.
“He did really well,” says Debbie. “Luke hadn’t often left where he had been living, and now he’s doing all this.”
More intensive support
However, Luke’s support team knew he needed more intensive support to improve his quality of life.
Working with the local NHS, Debbie and her team worked to secure support and funding for Luke to attend a nearby Learning Disability Day Service, called Diamond Activity and Therapeutic Services.
There, every Monday and Thursday afternoon, Luke takes part in Rebound Therapy.
The therapy sees Luke spends time on a trampoline with the day service’s team, enjoying sensory activities such as moving around, throwing balls and bean bags, and feeling different textures with his hands.
Meeting new people
At the day service, Luke’s also had the opportunity to engage with other people in group activities there.
“He had not done that before,” says Debbie. “On Thursday, Luke met three different groups of people, and the staff there said he did really, really well.”
Since Luke started Rebound Therapy, it wasn’t long before his support team started to notice significant changes in his general levels of happiness.
Going to the day service is “fully accessible for Luke, and it's just really working well for Luke's needs,” says Debbie.
“And it has massively improved his quality of life.”
‘A lot more engaging’
“You can definitely tell he's a lot more engaged with staff when he comes back from the day service. He’s generally a happy man anyway, but now, he’s even happier,” Debbie adds.
“Luke’s out of the house more, he's doing activities that he likes. He's engaging and interacting with other people.”
Vikki Blackburn, Luke’s Support Team Manager, is looking forward to seeing Luke meet more people I the group activities he’s begun.
“The positive benefits Luke receives from attending his sessions at the Diamond Centre are beyond what we could of hoped for,” says Vikki.
“We are looking forward to further inclusivity for Luke with the group work he has started.”
Luke’s mum, Laura, has also noticed the positive change.
“Luke is happy and content,” says Laura.
“The staff are great in keeping Luke stimulated and always looking for new ideas to enhance his quality of life.”
It’s so great to see you happy and getting out and about, Luke!
About Living Ambitions and Lifeways:
Lifeways, alongside Living Ambitions, which is part of the group, operates many supported living services in and around Doncaster.
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.
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