In 2015 we started working with a man called Danny who has learning disabilities and is blind. Before beginning his journey with Dimensions, he spent 10 years at home with few trips out.
It’s been a challenging but exciting process for him and his support team, which has seen them nominated for the “Making a Difference” award in the Learning Disability Awards 2016.
Initially, he didn’t trust people to support him with his personal care. It took time, respect and patience but his support workers Julie, Sharon and Ellie built a strong and trusting relationship with him.
Julie understood that, because Danny is blind, any methods of touch need to be done on his terms. By applying person-centred thinking, she adapted her support to help Danny trust her and by using sensory approaches, such as soft materials and smells, he eventually agreed to her supporting him to wipe his face and his beard.
Similarly, several support staff have tried and failed to encourage Danny to take a trip to the shops or for a walk. However, with Ellie and Sharon’s support, he took another huge leap and was supported to leave the house for the first time in a decade.
Ellie was talking to Danny about how nice it was that the sun had finally made an appearance. He agreed, and responding to his enthusiasm, she asked if he would like to take a walk.
Amazingly, he said yes and together they visited the local shop where he bought some treats to enjoy in the garden, his smile beaming brighter than the sun.
While these are every day tasks for some people, they are incredible achievements for Danny and his support team.
Support Workers every day help people achieve incredible milestones. But, humbly, Julie, Sharon and Ellie see this as their job.
We believe different. We believe that exemplary staff members like this trio should be recognised for the work they do, day in day out, for the people we support. This is why they are worthy finalists of the “Making a Difference” award in today’s Learning Disability Awards 2016! Good luck!