The fun never stops at PWS services Bannigans and Holland House!
Bannigans and Holland House are two of our specialist residential services based in Corby, Northamptonshire. They provide person-centered, tailored support for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and learning disabilities or complex needs.
Prader-Willi Syndrome affects around 2000 people in the UK and is a chromosomal disorder that affects a person’s ability to feel full, leading to potential risks of obesity or health issues. It can also affect growth, pain tolerance and many other factors depending on the person.
At Bannigans and Holland House, we aim to support people with PWS not only to address their health needs, but to support them to live independent, happy and fulfilling lives – which is definitely the case at these services.
Service Manager of both Bannigans and Holland House, Lisa Carvell, has been with Consensus for an amazing 27 years! During her time with Consensus, she has ensured that everybody she and her team supports has an amazing home environment and an exciting social life with plenty of opportunity.
Lisa says, “People with PWS are always told they can’t do things. They can’t have things. That’s not true. With support, people with PWS can and will do anything – and like everyone they deserve something to look forward to, they deserve to have fun, and to enjoy their favourite food or a treat as part of a healthy lifestyle just like everyone else.”
The team at Bannigans and Holland House have worked closely with the people they support to make sure there is never a shortage of fun around – Lisa believes the key to person-centered support is to focus on knowing the person, not just the diagnosis. She says, “It is the most important philosophy I work with – I spend as much time as possible getting to know what makes people happy, what people’s personal goals and dreams are as well as their health and support goals. My amazing team of support workers have embraced this and are very motivated to keep the fun going.”
Fun fun fun
There is always fun and laughter at home – the people we support have regular Bingo nights, cinema trips and they have a singing coach visit every week and a fitness coach once a month. The ladies who live at Bannigans and Holland House love to party – any birthday, event or sometimes just any weekend, they can be found decorating their home, getting dressed up and arranging their own party. Lisa says, “Everybody there just loves to get into the party spirit, get involved and have fun!”
The whole house got excited last year for the Mens Euros (European Football Championship), so when the Women’s Euros were announced for July 2022 Support worker Sarah immediately put in a ballot to get tickets for the people they support. The services were amazed to find out they got tickets and got to work right away getting their football shirts and designing their own banners to take to the match. The ladies watched the Denmark V Finland match at the Milton Keynes Stadium (Stadium MK), and Sarah said, “It was a fantastic night and the atmosphere was electric. The ladies we support really got into the game and had chosen the teams they were going to follow. Now that England have got through to the final they are really looking forward to the match and cheering on our home team the Lionesses.”
There has been a lot of music going on too – these services are lucky enough that they aren’t too far from some amazing concert venues like Milton Keynes Bowl, the 02 Institute Birmingham and The Lighthouse Theatre. The people we support at Bannigans and Holland House have been to see a range of acts including Britney Spears, Jason Donovan, Justin Timberlake, Blue, Westlife and Barry Manilow – Sally who is supported at Bannigans finally fulfilled her lifelong dream of seeing Culture Club live! She says, “I’d been wanting to see them for many years, but they weren’t touring. Lisa finally found they were touring again after many years and I finally got to see them. It was great seeing Boy George and I couldn’t help myself singing along to all their hits!”
The Corby Pole Fair
Everyone at Bannigans and Holland House loves getting involved in their local community – this year they took part in a local tradition known as the Corby Pole Fair. This ancient festival happens every 20 years dating back to the 13th Century and sees the people of the community coming together and celebrating with food, flowers, music and of course – a competition to climb a very slippery pole.
Our team and the people they support didn’t just attend but got involved organizing their own tombola for the fair, giving out prizes and talking to the partygoers. As well as having a simply amazing day out, they also managed to raise £360 for the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (PWSA) who celebrated their 40th anniversary this year.
The PWSA provides support, mediation and a dedicated helpline to the PWS community, they have a wealth of knowledge and resources to help people know everything they need to know about PWS. Like all charities, they rely on donations and fundraising to enable them to continue the important work supporting the PWS community.
Birthdays are also an excuse for a party! Geraldine, who lives at Bannigans, celebrated her 60th birthday this year – so naturally everybody got together to make sure she had an amazing day. Lisa and the team organized everybody from around Consensus to send birthday cards, and Geraldine woke up on her birthday to bags and bags of birthday wishes from all over the country! She finished up her birthday by heading off on her own holiday! Now the team are working with her to achieve another milestone and personal goal of going abroad for the first time on holiday to Spain with her friend Sally next year.
As June is Pride Month, we saw another of the services iconic garden parties to celebrate! Everybody worked hard decorating the houses and gardens with beautiful rainbows, balloons and bunting, and treated themselves after all their hard work with delicious rainbow coloured knickerbocker glories.
Everyone who lives and works at Bannigans and Holland House consider themselves a family – so when Support Worker Megan announced she was getting married, everybody was so excited for her. Unfortunately, not everybody was able to attend her special day, so they all worked together to arrange their own special wedding celebration for the happy couple, having a beautiful wedding picnic at a local farm attraction. A video was recorded and sent to the couple of everyone raising a glass of bubbly and wishing good luck to the newlyweds!
The fun doesn’t stop here – Lisa and the team have already got big plans for the rest of the year. From planning their big Halloween blow-out, to having a visit from a donkey sanctuary, to theatre trips into London- it’s clear that every day is a good day at our PWS services Bannigans and Holland House.
To learn more about our dedicated PWS services, please visit – https://www.consensussupport.com/support/our-support/prader-willi-syndrome/