The prospect of a college cookery course is whetting the appetite of 25-year-old Liverpool FC fan Nathan Ollerton, who lives at a residential service for people with learning difficulties on the outskirts of Dolgellau in Gwynedd.
Nathan, who moved to Cerrig Camu last March, told his support staff how much he wanted to learn to cook, so they helped him identify a suitable course at the local college, attend a tester day and enrol on a cookery course which will start in September.
Andrew Papirynk, service manager at Cerrig Camu, said: “This kind of support is typical of the person-centred care that we give at our service. Our underlying philosophy is about doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.
Cerrig Camu is run by Regard, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation which provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, and is currently spearheading a campaign to raise the profile of person-centred care.
Andrew said: “All the support staff at Cerrig Camu are now using Regard’s new method of data capture – Personal Daily Outcomes (PDOs) – which is great because it’s simpler and quicker to use than previous methods, and at the same time it delivers much better results for the people we support.
“The system enables us to carry out entirely person-centred planning and recording of outcomes in a way that successfully communicates the essence of those individuals.”
Nathan is supported on a one-to-one basis to attend a variety of activities such as shopping for weekly foods, attending the local leisure centre to play squash, use the gym and go swimming.
He also enjoys going for walks with staff in the local area, visiting castles and going to the cinema, as well as visiting the local pub to watch his beloved Liverpool FC.
Regular weekend visits home to stay with his dad are another very important feature in Nathan’s life.
Andrew said: “We recognise how important their relationship is to them both, so we support Nathan to get to the local train station where he meets his dad and they travel together to and from his dad’s home, then we meet him again at the train station after the weekend.
“We use a PDO with Nathan so his day is set up for him, however – as Nathan likes flexibility and in accordance with our person-centred approaches – the activities are not set to a particular day and Nathan is then encouraged to choose his preferred activity.”
Nathan lives in a shared house which has space for three service users, with access to a lounge, kitchen/dining area and individual bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms.
Nathan says what he likes best about living at Cerrig Camu is doing activities with staff, walks to town, watering the vegetable patch on site, and going to the service’s onsite OWL (Outcomes With Learning) day centre where staff support him to with cookery, woodwork and computers.
He also loves his Liverpool-themed bedroom which he helped design.
People who live at Regard’s services are involved in all aspects of their support, from the recruitment of staff through to day-to-day matters. Staff appreciate how important this responsibility is to service users and how it reflects their desire to make a genuine contribution.
The organisation now cares for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,100 people working at 147 locations throughout the UK.