Hayley’s Story – Haydock House

July 4, 2016
Hayley - Haydock House

Opportunities for creativity and imagination to be explored are sometimes associated with arts and crafts only, but at Haydock House in Kettering the support team had other ideas.

The garden was looking a little tired and whilst the individuals who are supported at Haydock House enjoy being outdoors the garden wasn’t a place where they spent much time. It was a little bare and had no features of particular interest.

Tracy a Support Worker realised that the transformation of the garden might provide an additional way to engage with all the individuals living at Haydock on a project in which they could all be involved and contribute towards in a variety of ways.

So the ‘Garden Project’ co-ordinated by Support Workers Tracy Banning and James Glansfield, began in partnership with Chris, Tamara, Claire, Jackie and Aaron. A fence had to come down to open the area up, whilst the weeds and old bushes were cleared. Once this was done they introduced a small wildlife pond in an old Belfast sink as Chris is keen on frogs and wildlife. They also transformed another area into a fairy/hobbit garden with a small door and window put onto the tree with the surrounding area landscaped.

They then moved on to create a small patio area where they could sit in the summer and enjoy their garden, knowing that they had helped with the project. Chris who works at Travis Perkins locally spoke with his boss about their project, and they kindly donated slabs to help get that part of the project underway. Stuart, the homes gardener was also called in to help by project co-ordinator Tracy with the heavy jobs, such as removing the fence and some large roots from old bushes.

Hayley another supported individual at Haydock House, has been working particularly hard with the fairy garden, supported to achieve this by her Support Worker Tracy.

Hayley is a young lady who lives with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) as do many of the individuals supported at Haydock House. She has quite a short attention span so can often be reluctant to engage in any activity that is routine. Hayley frequently becomes non-responsive and the garden project appeared to be something that helped her overcome this, especially when it was discussed or she could physically work on it.

By being involved in the ‘Garden Project’ Hayley has overcome many obstacles and barriers that have led to her completing activities for a short time where previously she would become bored easily.

Hayley has been able to really focus on the creative side of the project and proudly shows any and all visitors to Haydock House the work she has done. The fact that there are always new and different areas to work on means that Hayley doesn’t become bored with the same tasks and her creative imagination can truly shine through.

Hayley has often struggled to engage with others but this project has been a massive contributing factor in Hayley conversing with lots of new and different people. Hayley started to talk to staff at Garden Centres, which was a complete delight and surprise for those who support her. She secured donations for the garden through her new connections and at her request she was supported to spend hours making, writing and posting cards thanking people who had donated to the garden.

Hayley also created a “Minion” from tyres, with plans for another to keep him company underway. This was achieved with support from James another Support Worker in the team at Haydock House.

There were lots more creative elements completed. Pots were individually decorated with paints and mosaics and Support Worker James encouraged everyone including the support team to create a pot each that reflected their own individual personality.

They installed hanging baskets, pallet planters, a herb garden, bird boxes and tables made from upcycled furniture. They decorated the patio furniture with newly made cushions.

It has been a project that has brought the people we support and the team together, everyone working side by side.

To celebrate their success they planned and hosted an Open Day. They invited many guests and the Managing Director of Consensus joined them to take a tour of the garden and officially open the garden on a warm summers’ afternoon.