A woman with learning difficulties, cerebral palsy and autism is now enjoying ‘a new life’ with a high degree of independence, thanks to the dedication of staff at her supported living service in Ryde on the Isle of Wight
When 33-year-old Sara moved to Copperfield House after many years in residential care, she was unused to doing anything for herself, but as soon as staff started supporting her to do more for herself, she took to it with great enthusiasm.
From being fed ‘whatever was on the menu’ Sara now takes great delight in preparing her own meals, especially her favourites - cauliflower cheese and macaroni cheese - which she will happily cook from scratch. She also enjoys shopping for the ingredients.
The Copperfield House team has supported Sara to take on all her own cleaning, laundry, cooking and personal care for the first time in her life, and they regularly accompany her on a variety of activities of her choice in the community.
Michelle Willetts who leads the team said: “Before she came to Copperfield, Sara was living in a pretty regimented environment which didn’t give her the opportunity to do a great deal for herself.
“But since she’s been living with us, we have supported her to do more and more things for herself and as her confidence in her own abilities has grown, so has the satisfaction she takes from her achievements.”
When Sara first arrived at Copperfield House – a service run by the Regard Group, the UK’s third largest provider of private care in its sector - she was on a high level of support but with her improved independence and confidence this level of support has reduced in a relatively short space of time.
Michelle Willetts said: “Sara’s family say this is the first place Sara has ever wanted to call home, and that means such a lot to us.
“We have worked hard to safely allow her to grow her independence and live with fewer restrictions. She really craved more freedom, so we’ve allowed her the space to make a few mistakes and learn from them.
“She is free to move around her home as she wishes, and she clearly relishes this freedom. Sara’s a very determined person who knows what she wants and is also funny and sociable. She loves singing – especially songs from musical theatre and films - and is supported to attend a community singing group locally, which makes her very happy. She also loves dancing and is always keen to go to the weekly disco in Ryde.”
Sara’s family live locally and are very important to her, so she is supported to visit them weekly, and also enjoys going out in the car, especially for coastal drives.
The Regard Group www.regard.co.uk supports more than 1,300 people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries through specialist residential services, supported living services, outreach support and day resource centres at 168 settings across the UK, with a dedicated staff of over 2,600 people.