A life changing special bond

July 3, 2018

Amy, Support Worker at Blakeney House shares in her own words, how developing a very special bond with Emma has changed both their lives. Emma’s family are immensely proud of them both as are the team.

“When Emma first started living at Blakeney House she was extremely anxious almost every hour of the day. The only way she was able to express this anxiety was through continuous high-pitched screams and crying. She would often bite her hands and any object within her reach and she was unable to stay still for even a short moment of time through pure frustration. Any form of social interaction and access to the local community was rare.

When I began working at Blakeney House almost five years ago at 21 years of age, I had never experienced such a challenging working environment, which at times left me emotionally drained due to my lack of experience and knowledge in care. I supported Emma on almost every shift, team members support her for four hours at a time because of her extreme anxiety which caused her a lot of distress and could be difficult for colleagues to experience 1-1 for long periods of time.

After around two years of being at Blakeney House Emma and I developed a strong bond and trust between us, gradually attempting new activities such as meals out, shopping for new clothes, spending longer and longer out each time. We also created a bedtime routine that worked for her perfectly as sleeping would be an issue with Emma requiring long periods of time to settle.

This routine developed slowly over the period of another year, resulting in her routines becoming permanent and her anxiety reducing considerably. Step by step we began to introduce new activities such as meals out with her parents and auntie and uncle. Emma and I went to watch a show at the local theatre with her parents which she enjoyed and managed to stay for the entire time.

Over the past year Emma has made the most amazing transformation, she now sleeps a consistent 10-12 hours each night with no problem of settling at all and enjoys regular meals out in her community, dining at a number of different restaurants, not just quiet and empty places as before.

She enjoys using the train to go on shopping trips and also visits the cinema each week with this now her favourite new activity!

But by far the biggest achievement of all was when she achieved her long-term goal of enjoying her first holiday! Emma had not had a holiday for a very long time as she would not have been able to adapt to such changes of routine and environment without it causing her a lot of anxiety and distress, In January this year my colleague Veronika and I took Emma to Center Parcs for a long weekend which she thoroughly enjoyed!

Emma ate out in restaurants every single day, she loved going for long walks and the biggest smile of the holiday came when she experienced swimming again for the first time in years. We are currently planning her second trip of the year back to Center Parcs while she continues to improve and gain a better quality of life each day. I feel so proud of what she has achieved and can’t wait to see what other activities and experiences she will discover.”

Amanda Friedberg, Service Manager said; “Amy, came to us at the age of 21 with no previous experience. She has worked alongside established team members including management to develop her understanding of the people we support, so on the job observation. This coupled with the training offered by Consensus, has enabled Amy to blossom in to the Support Worker she is today. When she first came here she didn’t know how to cook or use a washing machine now she calls herself the domestic goddess!

It is her enthusiasm and passion for the job, nothing is too much trouble. Amy genuinely cares about all the people she supports but has a particular bond with Emma and her family. All the credit should go to Amy and Emma for the great strides they have both taken on their journey together.”

Emma’s parents were keen to contribute and said;

“As parents of Emma, we would like to say how much we have observed the special bond Amy has with Emma. It is a very special talent and she seems to have a very calm and confident approach that lessens doubt and anxiety for Emma.

“Amy does a wonderful job and undoubtedly Blakeney House should be very proud and appreciative of her. We certainly are, as parents of Emma and are very confident of Amy’s abilities.”

Kate and Andy Theobald (Parents of Emma)

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