A woman with learning difficulties who moved into a Willesden residential home as an emergency placement just before Christmas 2015 is looking forward to a New Year which sees her with better prospects than she’s ever had before, according to her social worker.
The team responsible for the turnaround in Anne Marie Cox’s life works at Regard’s Wrottesley Road service, where she lives with other people with learning disability and mental health needs.
Anne-Marie’s social worker, Nuchjaree Fisher, said: “I am pleased to hear that Anne-Marie has managed to achieve so much since she started her placement at Wrottesley Road. The staff are very supportive, proactive and creative, hence it shows in her progress.
“This is the most successful placement that Anne-Marie has ever had. She is happier and more stable – the best I have seen since I started working with her.”
A key player in this success story is service manager Paul Emile, who Anne Marie refers to as her personal financial advisor because of the way he is helping her learn to budget and pay off her debts.
Paul said: “Understanding how to make informed financial choices is a really critical step in Anne-Marie’s increasing independence, and she now understands how to stay solvent, which is a great break-through.”
“She is a very sociable person who enjoys every chance she gets to go out and about in the community, and wouldn’t dream of missing a session at any of her Mencap clubs, including regular keep fit sessions, conversation groups, church activities and volunteering.”
For the New Year Anne Marie is balancing the prospect of a hairdressing course against a jewellery-making course or a social care course, and is also hoping to be able to pursue art, drama or singing and music activities.
Paul Emile said: “We’re supporting her to explore the various options and choose the best one for her.
“The reason we achieve the results we do is because we believe in doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.
“Our aim is to support all the people who live with us to live their lives to the full and make the most of the opportunities available to them.
“In Anne Marie’s case, this includes being supported to make regular visits to Slough to meet up with her boyfriend and friends from the service where she lived previously, all of whom are still very important to her.”
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 2,200 people working at 148 locations throughout the UK.
Wrottesley Road is a shared house which has space for six service users, with access to a lounge, kitchen/dining area and individual bedrooms.
There is currently one first floor front-facing room available in the six-bed house, which is located in a pleasant residential area of Willesden.
Paul Emile said: “Ours is a happy, warm, welcoming place to live, located in a good area with access to a great range of amenities, including the shops at Shepherds Bush’s Westfield centre, and close enough to the heart of London to allow us to take people there for day trips or mini-breaks.”