A group of people with learning disabilities are making the most of the recent sunny weather with barbecues and picnics at the supported living service where they live at Haverhill in Suffolk.
John Jopling who leads the team supporting the individuals who live at Withersfield Lodge said: “They’re really enjoying being able to eat outside now that it’s warmer, and are having a great time deciding what they want to eat and preparing their own food.
“These are the normal things of daily life which most of us take for granted, and it’s incredibly rewarding when the support we give our service users enables them to independently achieve these pleasures.”
Withersfield Lodge specialises in supporting people who have previously lived in a residential setting and require support to make choices and decisions in their lives.
John said: “We encourage the people we support to have confidence in making choices, and work hard to build on and develop their daily living skills which in turn enables them to manage their own health and lifestyle.
“The wishes of the people we support are central to everything we do. Person-centred care is not just about activities, it is about considering people’s desires and aspirations, seeing the person as an individual and being respectful.”
Where possible individuals are supported to manage their own finances and health as well as being taught life skills such as road safety and receiving help in finding employment.
Due to the success of the way the Withersfield Lodge team works, one individual has recently moved out to live in even more independent accommodation leaving a vacancy in a first floor en-suite room.
The service 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.
People who use 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.
Regard holds the prestigious gold standard awarded by Investors In People, and is one of just four out of the 17,000 care organisations in the country to have achieved this status.