A young woman with cerebral palsy who was born in the Tywyn area has moved back to her roots and is celebrating making the successful transition from leaving home to leading an independent life, thanks to support from care-provider Regard.
Twenty-three year old Katie Collinswood moved to Cerrig Cornel in May 2013 from Buckinghamshire where she had moved with her mother a year ago.
Katie wanted to move back to be close to her grandmother and school friends, and Cerrig Cornel has been her first home away from home.
And now, four years after her return, Katie has been able to move out to be in her own flat, where she will continue to receive a package of support but will live independently.
Simon Moore, who leads the team at Cerrig Cornel, said: “Katie was very excited when she joined us at in 2013, and thoroughly enjoyed her first taste of freedom living with us.
“Ever since she moved in Katie has been has been an active participant in any activity that was on site.”
Her experiences, with staff support, have included swimming, visiting Alton Towers, Harry Potter World and Chester Zoo, ghost hunting, taking part in Aberdyfi Pantomime, attending pantomimes in Llandudno and Wolverhampton, weekly meals out with other service users and staff, shopping trips, bowling, and sole survivor church camp.
Katie is also an active participant in the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), with staff supporting her to win awards in competitions and to attend weekly lessons. She has raised money for RDA by completing a sponsored walk, and volunteers with Dyfi Donkeys whenever possible.
The staff at Cerrig Cornel have helped Katie develop her independent living skills so that now she can live in her own accommodation and, with some continued support, take an active part in community life.
Katie said: “I am really grateful for everything the team at Cerrig Cornel did to help me be able to live independently. Activities gave me more opportunities to access things in the community.”
The team at Cerrig Cornel was recently declared overall winner in Regard’s annual nationwide award scheme due to its ‘outstanding attitude to teamwork and consistently positive attitude’.
The service offers supported living to people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury in a converted 19th century Welsh farmstead, offering a range of separate households with modern interiors.
People who live at the service are involved in the day to day running of their home from deciding menus, shopping and cooking to laundry and gardening. There is currently a rare vacancy at the service, in a ground floor self-contained flat.