Happiness found in fishy friends at Aldeburgh House
Supported Individuals at Aldeburgh House had been talking about having a pet and had a real desire to learn how to care for an animal. So, with their support team they discussed what they would like, taking into consideration factors around mobility of some supported people, wheelchair use, certain behaviours and of course any potential vet bills and ongoing costs.
They set aside animals such as dogs, cats, hamsters etc. as they would not be suitable for everyone. As they talked it through some more, they all felt that having a fish pond with a water fountain, would be cost effective and offer extra opportunities for people to be involved and benefit.
The support team would be able to build the pond with the people supported, with the only costs being the fish pond shell, a pump and the fish. The up keep on the pond and fish would be minimal.
The team and supported individuals began with digging out the hole, then filled it with water and inserted a waterfall. This sensory feature was included for one gentleman, who is blind, so that he too could sit, in his rocking chair, by the pool and hear the birds singing and the water flowing.
People supported each chose fish by the colour to go in the pond, and they took a walk to the local beach front to pick shells, which they then painted. Once the pond was complete they cemented the shells around the outside. Everyone takes a turn in feeding the fish and thoroughly enjoy the calmness that the space brings and opportunity to care for their fish.
The team members love it, stating that the individuals get so much enjoyment out of it. One person will sit beside the pond watching the fish swimming around and this helps make him happy when he is having an emotional day.