Jack’s success story at Bear Road

November 7, 2011

Bear Road, Hanworth, Middlesex

Level of Learning Disability: Moderate
Specialism: Mental Health, Challenging Behaviour and Autistic Spectrum Condition

Bear Road offers accommodation for individuals with learning disabilities. This Consensus service offers five en-suite bedrooms which are decorated to suit individual tastes and styles. There are two communal areas, a large kitchen and a relaxing, enclosed landscaped garden with a terrace area.

Jack’s* story:
* names have been changed to protect privacy

The support staff at Bear Road met Jack and his relatives at their family home in September 2009. Staff spent time supporting Jack after he had finished school in order to make the transition into the service as easy as possible for him. After nine months, Jack moved into Bear Road. Jack’s mum Jill explains “the house manager and operations manager did a marvellous job in master minding Jack’s transition and were always available to answer any questions and advice before, during and after the transition. We were well supported as a family throughout”.

Support staff observed Jack’s strong and possessive attachment to his mum and at first Jack was reluctant to go out with staff into the community without his mum. When efforts were made in redirecting Jack to engage with staff, he would display challenging behaviour, such as knocking out the spindles in the staircase, as a way to express his need to want to only spend time with his mum.

Over a period of several months Jack gradually built up trust and confidence and became more comfortable and accepting of support from the staff team. Jack started to go out into the community with support staff in his home town and without his mum.

In December 2009 Jack and his mum visited Bear Road and after several more visits Jack moved into Bear Road on 27th April 2010.

Jill describes “I get regular updates from staff about Jack’s progress and Jack rings me a few times a week on his mobile phone. I am allowed to visit Jack anytime I like and each time the staff are welcoming and reassuring”.

This was a very difficult time for Jack and in the first few weeks he was quite challenging and would break the spindles on the staircase several times. He eventually settled down and started to get more involved with group activities and now enjoys accessing the community on a regular basis.

Jill says “I would just like to mention how absolutely delighted we are as a family, with Consensus as a whole. I would particularly like to say that support staff are fantastic! My son has come a long way in the past year. Looking back on the progress he’s made, it’s amazing. He is charming to be with and I look forward to his visits”.
Support staff taught Jack road safety and once they were confident Jack was able to be safe whilst crossing the road he was able to go to the shops independently. Jack now enjoys going to college and travels by himself by public transport to visit his mum by himself.

Jill explains “I would like to say a few kind words to compliment Jack’s key worker Caroline, I can’t speak highly enough of her. From the start, she has consistently helped Jack to become more confident, more independent and more talkative; he sings and tells jokes. Jack used to love art –he now has a painting in next year’s calendar!”.

Jack is now learning to buy, prepare and cook his own food with support staff and has expressed a keen desire to live independently which Consensus are supporting. The courses he has chosen at college will help him to gain and develop the skills necessary to be able to do this in the future.

“Jack’s key workers have encouraged him with everything he does including shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, his appearance, attending work experience and college. Caroline is very approachable and nothing gets over- looked. Jack gets on very well with her and it is lovely to know her; Caroline’s knowledge and the years of experience she has is so beneficial for Jack. She is fully aware of how he ‘ticks’, how to motivate him and ways to avoid negativity. Jack’s joint key worker, Rob, has also played a huge part in settling him into Bear Road. He has handled all the challenging behaviours in a calm and professional manner, nothing was too much for Rob and he seemed to have all the time in the world for Jack’s earlier repetitive behaviours. Rob has been like a role model for Jack and he has a lot of respect for Rob now” describes Jill.

Jack has expressed a keen desire to work in a cafe; the team at Bear Road have supported him to join Leaders Employment Agency and Jack is delighted!

Although Jack is independent in many areas he still needs support with daily living skills which he is still developing.

Jill concludes “from a mother’s point of view, I couldn’t be more pleased. I have virtual peace of mind that Jack is happy and doing well in a safe and supported environment. Care homes have a stigma attached to them to this day. It probably has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life to let go of my special needs son. As soon as I stepped through the front door of Bear Road I had a gut instinct this is where I wanted Jack to live; it felt like home. Bear Road and the support staff as a whole made my decision much easier to let go”.

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