Affinity Trust has a new trainer – Matthew, one of the people we support in Bedfordshire.
Matthew, who we’ve supported for just over a year, has difficulty processing sensory experiences, which can make him anxious. This affects how he interacts with people and the environment around him.
In common with many people we support (read about Ruth, for example), Matthew was asked to help recruit his own support staff. Taking part in interviews gave him confidence in talking about his anxiety and how people could support him in situations that made him anxious.
Matthew decided to take this further. With help from his support manager and occupational therapist, he designed his own training course, complete with certificate – explaining when to leave him alone, when to talk to him, and what to say.
He also decided he would present the course himself.
Last December, Matthew delivered his first training course to his support staff, including the local operations manager. He later trained a contracts officer from Central Bedfordshire Council, who wrote to thank him, and whose feedback gave him added confidence.
Based on the positive feedback, Matthew decided to develop the course, produce a PowerPoint version, and present it to more people. His hope is to help staff understand how he, and others who have difficulty processing sensory experiences, can be better supported.
Staff who work with Matthew have noticed he is much more confident when out in the community. And, with their support, he has since prepared a Sunday roast which he served to his parents in his bedsit – the first time in his life he has cooked for them.
Matthew’s achievements were recognised when he was nominated and then shortlisted for the People’s Award in the 2018 National Learning Disability and Autism awards.