Andrew at Chesterholme has been preparing for when he moves on from the Hexham service, towards more independent living. Chesterholme is an independent hospital for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. The staff team there have been helping him prepare for this time, supporting him to make his own choices and take part in the activities he enjoys.
Andrew recently gave a presentation on the process of moving on at People’s Parliament, the North East region’s service user forum. These forums are run by service users, enabling people to have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on the service, share concerns and make suggestions for activities or on ways to improve their daily lives. It is also a great way for people to share their experiences and help others that are going through the same things.
His presentation was brilliant, explaining about everything he does, his hobbies, and the place where he works. He also told everyone how he was preparing for moving by making a list of the things he will need when he leaves Chesterholme and about going on a grand shopping expedition with his support staff to buy things for his new place.
The staff team at Chesterholme are all working with Andrew to help support and prepare him for when he moves on. Andrew participates in a vast array of activities, all of which promote his independence, community access, and provide opportunities that empower Andrew to make appropriate choices and decisions.
Andrew works at Greenbox, run by the Hextol Foundation, once a week, packing information leaflets into envelopes and taking them to the local post office. He enjoys the responsibility and work environment and has had brilliant feedback from the team at Greenbox.
Minerva, a charity run arts centre supporting adults with learning disabilities, is another place Andrew enjoys going to each week. He loves getting stuck in with the wide range of creative projects available, such as silk painting, screen printing, pottery and furniture restoration. Through Minerva, Andrew has the opportunity to meet others while working in a friendly and supportive community-based environment.
The team also support Andrew to learn life skills that will help him when he moves. He thoroughly enjoys shopping and cooking, working alongside staff to decide what they would like to make for their tea. He is central to the whole process, from checking the larder cupboard, to buying the ingredients, to preparing, cooking, and presenting, before they can finally enjoy the tasty meal they have created.
Andrew now feels confident in his abilities and ready for the next step. When Andrew makes the move from Chesterholme, he hopes to continue to do all the things he currently likes doing, while enjoying greater independence.