Families learn all about service users busy lives as they read all about it!

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Hisham feeding a lamb at the Sheep Centre in East Dean
Hisham feeding a lamb at the Sheep Centre in East Dean

Families of adults with learning difficulties living in at a service in Seaford, East Sussex, have said how delighted they are with a new monthly bulletin designed to let them share the pleasures and achievements of their family members.

 

Aziz Hodjaev, service manager for Maldon House, said: “Because the people who live with us all have communications difficulties, they can’t always tell their families what they’ve been up to, but this bulletin is full of news and

photos, and tells our stories at a glance.”

 

The bulletin was the brain-child of support worker Deborah Hastie, who works closely with the people who live at Maldon House to find out which activities they would like each edition to include.

 

Deborah said: “We do a lot of activities with our service users, so they have plenty to choose from.”

 

The first issue featured three main stories: an outing to see baby lambs, a walk among the bluebells, and a trip to the seaside.

 

Deborah said: “We put in some lovely photos of our visit to the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre to see the lambs, sheep, pigs, goats, horses and other animals.

 

“The people we support wanted to share how much fun they had there, making special mention of the fact that they all got to have a go at feeding the animals and including photos showing this.”

 

The bulletin also describes a “lovely” long walk in the bluebell woods, followed by tea and cake in a tea-room, and a sunny walk along Seaford beach, with ice-creams.

 

Aziz said: “It’s so important to the families of those who live with us to share in what’s going on, and the people we support love seeing their activities illustrated like this.

 

“We do so many fun activities together that we have to be a bit choosy about what to include. We could only give a brief mention to the other things we did like swimming, seeing Jungle Book at the cinema, walks in the Cuckmere Valley and along the bluebell railway, visiting Raystede animal sanctuary, going on pub trips and having baking sessions at home.

 

“But we did give a special mention to our service user Helen, who was winner of the day when we visited the bowling alley, scoring three strikes and a spare.”

 

The weekly baking sessions at Maldon House encourage the people who live there to get creative, improve their baking skills and enjoy eating the treats they prepare together, as well as helping these budding chefs develop proficiency in menu-planning, shopping, and money- and time-management.

 

Aziz said: “My team focuses on supporting people to live a full and active life, becoming more independent and learning new skills. 

 

“Staff are trained in both Makaton sign language and PECs – the brilliant ‘picture exchange communication system’ – which makes it possible for them to communicate with our non-verbal service users.”

 

Maldon House is run by Regard, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.

 

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