Ben’s chipping in to do his bit

November 18, 2016

Ben lives at Ty Hendy a residential service for people with learning disability and other complex needs in Carmarthenshire. A young man on the autistic spectrum, who loves life and socialising but has struggled with behaviours that can challenge others, which, in the past has led to a lack of opportunities for him to enjoy life in the wider community.

Ben’s support team and family identified that this was a very important part of life for Ben and so jointly focussed on ways in which his support plan could gradually build upon ways of understanding and improving Ben’s behaviours. The aim ultimately was to increase his ability to participate in activities in his wider community.

Ben’s key support worker slowly built up Ben’s confidence and worked with him to provide strategies to cope with and reduce his anxieties and challenging behaviours.

As part of his confidence building Ben was invited to go to the local timber yard by the Deputy Manager of Ty Hendy and collect some wood. This was chosen as a safe place with the Deputy Managers husband working there. Ben went with his support worker by bus, a journey of about five miles. He thoroughly enjoyed his experience, chatting with many of the team who worked there. The team at Fforest Timer really enjoyed Ben’s company too and so decided quietly to investigate the risks, insurance and work options available. They gathered all the necessary information and knowledge and at that point agreed that they would be able to offer Ben the opportunity of a work placement.

Fforest Timber approached the team at Ty Hendy with the offer for Ben and allowed the team to explore with him whether this would be something he would like to pursue. Ben was extremely keen and so the team supported Ben to slowly build up his visits to the timber yard with one to one support.

Ben was treated as a regular potential employee completing an interview and induction prior to formally beginning his job. He was given safety boots and protective clothing and treated equally as a member of the team.

Ben works at Fforest Timer once a week for two hours. He takes the bus and joins the team for breakfast. He then collects all the offcuts of timber and stacks them into huge blue bulk sacks. He sells these sacks for £5.00 a time and thoroughly enjoys all the interaction with colleagues and customers. His social interaction skills are increasing, his confidence is growing immensely and the challenging behaviours that used to limit his life are decreasing. The team at Fforest Timer love having Ben on their team and always look forward to finishing Ben’s morning off each week with lunch together.

Ben’s not letting all his success go to his head though, once back at Ty Hendy he changes out of his work clothes and gets on with other activities he enjoys, but he doesn’t need reminding which day he’s due at work and is able to prepare as part of his routine to never miss a day.

Ben’s parents are absolutely delighted with his progress and the opportunity that Fforest Timer were able to give Ben. They are so proud of Ben’s achievements and are looking forward to watching him grow and thoroughly enjoy life.

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