Mary’s Success Story – 48 The Grove
Since arriving at 48 The Grove thirteen years ago, Mary has achieved so many of her goals and ambitions in a safe and positive environment.
48 The Grove is a three storey Victorian character house in Isleworth, which provides a supportive residential setting for individuals with learning disabilities, autism, mental health difficulties and complex needs.
Mary, an individual with a moderate learning disability, severe challenging behaviour and Epilepsy, arrived at 48 The Grove thirteen years ago. With the encouragement and support of her highly trained support team and the implementation of her person-centred plan, Mary has achieved many of the goals she set out to achieve in order to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
On arrival, the team spent time with Mary forming her person-centred plan and to help identify her circle of support, which encompasses key people involved in Mary’s life and care, such as family, friends and health and social care professionals.
The team established a detailed book encompassing her person-centred plan called ‘Mary’s Pass’. This pass described Mary’s goals and ambitions for the next 3-5 years and set out the key skills and steps required to reach those medium and long terms goals. This was a time intensive process, working with Mary to talk through the steps, methods and activities that needed to be learnt and enjoyed along the journey all in a pictorial format. The book also recognised Mary’s successes, sharing photos, maps, reports and memorabilia from everything she achieved weekly.
Mary’s Pass, completed with her key worker’s support, contains the important steps to achieve essential skills such as, enhancing her cooking and housekeeping skills, budget training and preparing her to travel outside of her local area. It was also formed with smaller key milestones in mind to help Mary reach her long-term goal, which is to become more independent and to one day live independently in her own flat.
To begin with, Mary received 1:1 support, which meant she was able to expand her horizons and achieve many of her short-term goals. For example, her key worker supported her on a daily basis to carry out small household chores and to cook healthy nutritious meals. Mary had previously enjoyed the simplicity of junk food and ready meals, however the team knew this was not beneficial to Mary’s health and wellbeing, as well as also being more expensive, they therefore encouraged her to begin choosing healthier options. Mary’s key worker supported her to shop locally for the ingredients and then follow the short step by step guides to produce delicious, home cooked, healthy meals made from scratch. Not only was this a huge achievement for Mary and helped her to remain healthy, but it also helped her to become mindful of expenditure when budgeting in her own flat later down the line.
Mary and HRH The Princess Royal
One of Mary’s favourite hobbies is horse riding, a sport she thoroughly enjoys. It keeps her active and helps with weight management, both of which are equally important to Mary. Back in 2017, whilst on a visit to the stables for her regular session, Mary was surprised and honoured to be part of the official opening of the Park Lane, Teddington stables, which were opened by HRH The Princess Royal. In order to prepare Mary for what was to be expected at such a prestigious event, the team had spent time with Mary in advance of this special event talking her through what Royalty is and how a Royal event can be very different to her usual experiences of greeting new people. With close support from her key worker, she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be involved and be a part of the proceedings.
Mary and her budgeting goals
To help Mary with her budgeting goals, the team bought her the board game Monopoly. Mary used this as a way to complete transactions with money and to learn in a safe way what happens when you spend too much, leaving yourself short for the things you might need. She thoroughly enjoyed using this as a way of becoming familiar with the concept of budgeting and continues to us these skills when out shopping. This is also another step the team took to ensure Mary is fully prepared when moving into her own flat.
Getting out and about
One of Mary’s goals highlighted in her person-centred plan was for her to get out and about more in the local community and to seize travel opportunities wherever she could. The team helped support Mary to achieve these goals and to familiarise herself with them, they would share future events and activities with her through pictures and videos. This was hugely beneficial for Mary and her independence skills, as she was given a choice and variety of events and places to visit and through using a number of different modes of transport too.
As 48 The Grove is only an hour’s travel time from Central London, with a host of ways to travel, it made sense for the support team to encourage Mary to take part in activities in and around London. One event that appealed to Mary was Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, an annual spectacular Christmas destination open throughout the festive season. Having seen videos of the lights, stalls and the layout, whilst also being briefed on the high footfall numbers that attended Winter Wonderland, the team worked with Mary to plan the journey back in 2017. They agreed taking the tube was the most straightforward method, however with Mary being claustrophobic, the team had to take some extra steps to ensure she was comfortable on the journey. Therefore, two months prior the team took Mary on some short journeys coaching her through how the underground is built, why there are no windows in stations, how escalators work, all the while trying to build up her confidence. They also helped Mary count the different stations and took photos of stations along the routes to help with recognition. In addition, the team also shared videos of tube journeys and talked at length about travelling safely. In order to make the journey, Mary also learnt what an Oyster card was and how these are used.
Once Winter Wonderland opened its gates, Mary and her keyworker made the hour journey via the underground to Hyde Park and navigated themselves around the stalls and people. Mary was overjoyed to have successfully made the journey and experience the festive Wonderland. This marked Mary’s very first journey on the London Underground into Central London… another goal ticked off her Pass! And the trip was such a success that Mary went again the following year too!
Mary has achieved so much since arriving at 48 The Grove 13 years ago, but her biggest achievement to date has to be a trip abroad to the magical Disneyland Paris. With the help of her support team, her key worker, Donna, and Positive Behaviour Practitioner for London, Amber Charlton, Mary was supported to achieve her biggest goal and dream to go to Euro Disney!
Amber says, “This was a big achievement for Mary as she finds new environments and transitions very difficult. Donna, her key worker at the time, had attended person-centred planning training with me. Following on from this, she worked alongside Mary on her person-centred plan and the goal for her to go to Euro Disney. To help support Mary with her anxieties, transitioning and new environments, Donna made her a visual schedule to show her what she would be doing whilst there to increase predictability and help her with transitions.”
Mary had the time of her life at Disneyland Paris! We are so proud that she has achieved so much in her time at 48 The Grove. Through person-centred planning and sheer determination from Mary and her support teams, she is living the life she wants and fulfilling her dreams! The team continue to ensure that Mary pauses every so often to recall her own achievements and give herself a well-earned pat on the back.