At JRH Support we like to think of people's experiences of their support in terms of journeys. Journeys indicate movement or progression, and to think of support in this way can really help people recognise the progress they've made.
On this page you can read about some of the journeys people have been on with JRH Support. For reasons of confidentiality we haven't used people's actual names, but all of these journeys are real.
Our Outreach team started supporting Susan two years ago. At that time, she described herself as having a very poor quality of life. She experienced high levels of anxiety, audio and visual hallucinations and was agoraphobic – only ever going out into the community for GP appointments or to visit family members, and even then only feeling able to go there if she could get a taxi that drove her door to door.
Susan also had a problem with alcohol dependency and some physical health problems. Over time, Susan has been supported to make some huge changes in her life. Following a process where she was supported to progressively venture further on foot from her house, she now walks to a local cafe with her support worker every week, and also walks to a local supermarket each week with her support worker to do her food shopping. Susan says this has improved her quality of life enormously.
We have also liaised with specialist alcohol services to support Susan to cut back on her drinking, and this is working well. She has recently had her first alcohol free day for 2 years. We continue to support Susan to reach her goals, and she feels much more positive about her life now.
Andrew moved into one of our supported living properties a few years ago. He has a learning disability and has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Andrew had been living with his family before moving into his new home, and was not used to doing things independently.
Over time in our supported living service, Andrew has become increasingly independent and now does a great deal either on his own or with minimal support from staff. He has learned to cook his own meals, to keep his property clean and tidy and to use public transport to take part in his regular daytime activities without any support. This progress has taken place over a number of years, and Andrew is hugely proud of his achievements.
Something that Andrew still felt he really wanted to be able to achieve was to be able to go to his local supermarket on his own and do his weekly food shopping without any support. To do this it was necessary to break the task down into smaller parts to ensure Andrew had the skills and confidence to be able to do it all on his own. Over a number of weeks, Andrew's keyworker and other staff at the property supported him to go through the process at his own pace. Staff then gradually withdrew from parts of the process once Andrew felt confident to do them on his own, until finally he felt able to do the whole thing without support.
Andrew was over the moon when he finally did this for the first time on his own. He had a massive grin on his face as he returned to the house carrying his shopping bags, and the whole staff team and the three people he shares the house with celebrated his success with him.
John lives in one of our supported living properties, and a little while ago he told his keyworker he'd love to learn how to knit. John has a learning disability, and also a physical disability that makes holding things with his fingers quite difficult, however he has incredible perseverance and now regularly thrashes staff at games on his Xbox! John uses a range of adaptions to make life easier for him, and is fiercely independent.
Because of his physical disability, it was not possible for John to hold knitting needles, but this didn't mean he couldn't knit something. His support workers supported him to search online for alternative options, and eventually found a knitting machine that looked as if it would fit with John's disability.
John worked really hard to learn how to use the machine. It took a long time for him to get the hang of it but staff supported him throughout the process, and eventually John was able to knit a simple piece without any support from staff. John couldn't wait to show his work to friends at his day service, and the sense of achievement was huge.
Robert was referred to our Outreach service by social services because he was experiencing severe anxiety. His anxiety was so pronounced that he felt unable to engage in any activities outside of his home. Robert had been commissioned 2 hours support each week to enable him to go out with a support worker to take part in something he could enjoy. At first Robert was quite reluctant to engage with this support as he found the prospect of going out so unnerving, and it took a great deal of courage for him to make this big step.
Over a 6 month period Robert really got to know his support worker, and with the consistency of his weekly support he gradually became more and more determined to leave the house and start to get some enjoyment out of life.
At Robert’s review, it was identified that he had been going out to play pool every week with his support worker and was even building up positive relationships with other people who used the pool hall. Robert’s next planned outcome was to look at other activities he might like to do with in his support time, and an increase of a further 2 hours support per week was commissioned for Robert to enable him to take these next steps.
Keeley initially started receiving support from us in July 2016. When we first began supporting Keeley her lifestyle was very chaotic. She was ‘sofa surfing’ at various friend’s houses throughout the week and wasn’t engaging well with support. We supported Keeley to submit housing documentation, and in January 2017 she moved into her own flat and things started to settle down for her. Having her own home that was also her 'haven' was very important to Keeley, and helped provide her with the stability she needed.
Since moving, Keeley has not missed a session of support. She still has chaotic periods in her life but knows that we are always there for her to turn to. She enjoys going swimming and to the sauna and baking and cooking with her support worker and learning to read. Keeley's flat has become more of a home for her and she has even got a kitten now to keep her company, and has neighbours around her who look out for her. Keeley really enjoys the support she receives and says she would be in a much worse position without it.
Heidi moved into one of our supported living properties in 2011. For a long time, she was very shy and preferred to be in her own company. She would stay in her room as much as possible with her door locked and would not interact much with others. She was not a fan of change and at times could become very upset when things did not go to plan.
Heidi used to like to go out once a day for a short period of time and would choose to visit the same local shops. She would not eat in front of others and so meals out were very scary for her. She did not like unfamiliar or crowded places and so she would avoid trying anything new or different as this was out of her comfort zone. Whenever she went out she would always insist on using a taxi and would never walk or use the bus.
Our staff team have been working very closely with Heidi and have offered lots of encouragement, praise and emotional support consistently over a long period of time. This has helped Heidi gain the confidence she needed to increase her independence.
Heidi no longer locks her bedroom door and will often ask for others to spend time with her chatting or watching movies. She is much more open to change and will talk through anything which is causing her to feel upset. Heidi is becoming more confident with each day that goes by and will often choose to go out for dinner.
Heidi now visits many places when going out and will often choose to use buses or even go for a walk. She has a much more active social life and has started going to shows, pantomimes, shopping in town and has even been on a holiday.