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“Could such incurably cheerful people really get the job done?” Meg and Emily’s story

“We were nervous about switching to Dimensions because changing the care team impacts so much on Meg and Emily, my daughters… could such incurably cheerful people really get the job done?”

As their previous provider felt unable to provide the housing support they needed, the sisters’ local authority in Weymouth and Portland asked Dimensions to get involved.

Three weeks ago they moved into a new home that meets their needs, their quality of life has improved and the local authority has saved money. Manager Vikki Dampier takes up the story:

“Meg and Emily have a special bond with each other. They share many of the same challenges, physical and learning disabilities and epilepsy. But apart from that, they are chalk and cheese.”

“The girls had quite simply outgrown their previous accommodation. They were living on top of each other which could cause some stress.

Now, thanks to some hard work from our housing team, they have a nice big bungalow adapted to meet their needs. And they love it!”

Emily, who is fiercely independent but has greater support needs than Meg, particularly loves the garden which she can access through a brand new ramp. “Woe betide me if I talk whilst the birds are singing” says Vikki, “I get shushed straight away!” Emily is also loving the new additions to the family – guinea pigs!

Meg is a social butterfly. Her life is full of friendships; she attends four different day centres each week, and just like other girls she loves dressing up and going to parties.

At home, she loves helping to support her sister. Her bedroom is huge and she’s putting another bed in for her to have sleepovers with friends.

“Both girls are so much happier now,” says Vikki, “The house move has helped, of course, but the staff have been critical.

Both they and their mum helped to choose their support workers. I knew we needed fun, young-minded staff who could think on their feet and who could really deliver an up-tempo, varied day for both sisters, supporting them to make positive choices.

We’ve delivered that in spades and the ladies, their family and the local authority – with whom we’ve worked in close partnership throughout – are as happy with the outcome as we are”.

So… could such incurably cheerful people really get the job done? Mum gets the last words:

“In the end, we knew that we would have to take the plunge if we were to improve housing prospects for our daughters. We are now so glad that we did! What had seemed like informality in the Dimensions style we suspect results from keeping their focus on the individuals they support rather than on their own organisational needs.

We really felt that Vicki was fighting for Meg and Emily and amazingly she won the day!

We still find it hard to believe that our daughters have been so blessed with a lovely home and a dedicated team of cheerful and loving carers.

Vikki and her team have done a wonderful thing for Meg and Emily and us – thank you.”

Before and after comparison

Before

  • Unsuitable accommodation
  • Limited independence

After

  • Suitable accommodation
  • Increased independence

Key outcomes

  • Better quality of life
  • 7 hours per week cost savings to the local authority
  • Meg and Emily are much happier within themselves

Key data