Assisting young people with a smooth transition into an adult care setting
Consensus colleagues were delighted to once again be able to meet families, students and teachers face-to-face at two college transition events.
Across the UK, Consensus Support is an award-winning independent provider of support and accommodation for individuals with learning disabilities, autism, Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and additional complex needs. Consensus offers a range of residential, supported living and day centre opportunities across the U.K. and also supports the transition process as young people reaching adulthood move from a specialist educational setting to a service that can provide support and accommodation in their adult life.
In the London Borough of Sutton, Corina Tsikina, Referrals and Partnerships Manager, and Anthony Draper, Manager of the Stanley Park Road residential service, were part of an event organised by the Orchard Hill College. This is an independent specialist college with eight centres across London and Surrey for pupils aged from 16 to 25 with learning difficulties/disabilities, autism, behavioural challenges, physical disabilities, and sensory impairment. Students, together with their teachers, support workers, parents and carers, came along to the event at the Sutton Life Centre to have a look at options for them after leaving full-time specialist education.
“It was an opportunity for the young people to find out more about what next steps they might want to take,” said Anthony. “Not only perhaps to get more information about residential and supported living options, such as those we provide at Consensus, but also paid employment, volunteering and other activities to get involved in. There were arts and crafts sessions and a drama workshop running as part of the event too. About 50 students came along and it was a pleasure to have the chance to talk to them and their families and to tell them more about the services we provide at Stanley Park Road and Consensus in general.”
Links with local colleges to ensure a smooth transition for supported individuals into learning disability services for adults aged 18+ are important to Anthony and his team at Stanley Park Road. This recently opened residential service in the Wallington area of Carshalton, Surrey, offers individualised accommodation and person-centred support to male and female adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs in six self-contained one and two-bedroom flats. The bright, modern residential setting offers greater independence but with opportunities for individuals to socialise within a supported environment if they wish.
Over in the London Borough of Hounslow, our Referrals Managers Nathan Cooper and Mark Whiteley were also attending a transition event at Great Oaks College. It was held at the College’s modern, purpose-built site at Gresham Road, Hounslow, which offers a range of Further Education opportunities to young people aged 19-25 in West London with moderate, severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties, including autistic people.
Nathan said: “We’re delighted that transition events like these are now happening again. Meeting the students and their parents face-to-face, as we did at Great Oaks College, means we can welcome them in person, chat through their questions, and help them to find the information and guidance that they need about future plans, options and choices.
“That included giving advice about the transition process from an educational environment into a residential or supported living service as they approach age 18 and what is involved. This can be a sensitive and anxious time for parents and young adults, and it is vitally important to understand the options available and which will best suit individual needs. I was also pleased to have a chance to meet representatives of some local groups who stopped-by to see us at the Consensus stand.”
Consensus provides five services in the London Borough of Hounslow. 89 Hampton Road and 89a Hampton Road in Hanworth are purpose-built residential homes close to Feltham town centre, supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. Also in Hanworth, Bear Road is a bespoke care service providing accommodation and support for people with PWS, a rare genetic condition, some of whom may also have complex learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge. Nearby in Isleworth, 48 The Grove and 46 The Grove provide supportive residential settings for individuals with learning disabilities, autism, mental health difficulties and complex needs.