Geoff’s Story – Steps Supported Living

February 20, 2017

Geoff had undergone a period of change. He was no longer working at his placement at a local country park and due to the winter months approaching, Geoff didn’t have any gardens to work on.
Working in and on gardens had provided him a lot of joy and an opportunity for valuable interaction with friends that he had made within the wider community. After a conversation with his support team, Geoff decided to take control of his destiny and happiness, and do something about this.

Geoff felt a bit low after losing his placement and experienced a decline in his self-esteem. Geoff is a very sociable person that needs to feel he is contributing and keeping busy. He talked to his support team about these feelings and when challenged as to what he would like to do about it, he didn’t quite know. Geoff, taking the lead, spent some time talking with the team. He asked himself difficult questions about what would make him happier and what he was going to do about it. Having explored a variety of options, Geoff decided that getting a voluntary job to enhance his social circle. He hoped it would give him something new to do, something that he could call his own, and that would possibly put the happiness back in to his day to day life.

Geoff was not sure where to start, and so, with support from the team, he looked on the internet for volunteering options. Together they searched FISH (Friendly, Independent Support and Help) which other people had used previously and had heard positive things about. Accompanied by a support worker, Geoff dropped in one day, and successfully managed to get to speak to a representative.

She asked a few questions about Geoff’s likes and dislikes along with his strengths and weaknesses. She was able to build up a profile of Geoff and then invited him to attend a meeting the following week at the local Tesco community room. Geoff felt revitalised by the possibility of a new opportunity. Geoff attended this meeting, and the same representative went through various options, what they would involve and where they were based. Geoff selected the Phoenix recycling Centre and so he obtained the relevant contact details.

With support, Geoff telephoned the workplace and arranged a day to visit the place, to see if he liked it and if they felt he was suitable for the environment and the tasks he would be required to do. Geoff went with a member of the support team and almost instantaneously, he felt positive about it all, he talked to a representative from the Centre. She showed him around, gave a demonstration of how each area worked and also introduced Geoff to a few of the workers, they were very welcoming. Geoff hit it off with them straight away, talking about a variety of things, from what it’s like working there to more sociable questions, like what they like doing in their free time.

It seemed Geoff fitted in well within the work place, this feeling was shared with Geoff. When asked about his first impressions he said, “When I first got there, they was very kind and made me feel welcomed. I liked what they did there and I couldn’t wait to get started.”

After a discussion with the Centre’s representative, she told Geoff that he could start as soon as he liked. He just needed to fill out some health and safety forms and buy suitable clothing, such as steel toe-capped boots and a high visibility jacket. Geoff was keen to start so he requested to use his one to one time to go and purchase these items straight away.

Initially, Geoff worked there on a Tuesday, but after a couple of weeks he decided a Wednesday would be better and so took control and spoke to all the relevant people to make that happen. Since starting, Geoff has shown great enthusiasm towards the work placement and only ever has good things to say about it.

“I like where I work, the work is fun, and the people are kind and helpful. I am glad I went there, it is much better than the last place I was at.” – Geoff.

“Geoff appears to be happier within himself, The fact he has a wider social circle and achieved something off of his own back has given him a sense of self-worth” – Anthony, Senior Team Lead.

“Geoff is a positive addition to Phoenix, he is always talking to all the different people, whilst working and it helps the day go nicely, everyone likes Geoff here” Andy Williams, Phoenix Centre.

Geoff is rightly proud of himself, he felt that something was missing from his day to day life, and so he took control of the situation and made positive changes. Rather than let his situation determine his thoughts and feelings, he took positive steps with support from the team to make his life better and cannot be praised enough for this. Well done Geoff!!

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