Paul has been supported by Affinity Trust since 2014. He has learning disabilities, walks with difficulty and has little verbal communication. His parents had been worried about him for years before his move to Affinity Trust, feeling that he was not happy and that communication between themselves and his previous support teams could have been better.
Paul’s father, Tony, says ‘When Paul moved to being supported by Affinity Trust I must admit I wasn’t expecting great things – we had been disappointed so often previously. Unfortunately things didn’t get off to a great start as staff had to be with Paul constantly because he was likely to fall.’ Paul found this difficult and responded with frequent episodes of challenging behaviour. Subsequently staff successfully supported Paul to improve his mobility and give him greater independence which made him much happier. Tony says ‘I realised that this was going to be much better for Paul. I was very impressed with how open staff were, how they really listened to both Paul and us and worked with us, trying many different approaches to enable Paul to do things he wanted to do.’
Staff also worked with Paul’s parents to understand how he communicates and adopted an upbeat friendly approach. Tony is delighted ‘Paul loves his support staff, they are the reason we have our cheerful chap back for the first time in years. It is wonderful to see. Suggestions the support workers have made to Paul, including using a wheelchair on day trips, and a different approach at mealtimes to help him eat more easily, both of which we have adopted, has really improved life for him and for us.’
Paul’s health has improved and his weight has increased. He has grown in confidence and attends courses at the local college. Tony enthuses ‘He is supported so well to do things he really enjoys – particularly horse riding. From a young child he was always stroking the horses which were in the fi eld behind our house. It’s great he can now ride once a week, he loves it. Thanks to Affi nity Trust Paul is happy and part of the community, including doing ordinary things that my other children do – such as enjoying a takeaway on a Saturday night. That means so much to both his mother and me.’