In our initial assessment with Toby we discovered that he did not enjoy going outside: he didn’t like the wind, rain or sun, and could therefore become very vocal and distressed. Toby was also quite unwell with various health problems and he was vomiting almost every day. After many doctor’s appointments and through trial and error, we found a balance in medication for Toby which has stopped his vomiting and his health is much better.
When Sharon became Toby’s new key worker she was very keen to work with Toby to get him out and about more, which would increase his social skills and the activities he participated in. Initially they went out for short walks, which could be quite difficult, but over time Sharon saw a real improvement in Toby and he started to enjoy seeing people and saying hello to passers-by. After this success, Sharon felt it would be good to try some short drives in a car, to increase Toby’s mobility further. Although Toby didn’t always enjoy the journey, he enjoyed the activity he was travelling to.
Since taking these small steps with Toby, he has really changed as a person and now accesses the community a lot more. He has attended several music festivals that have given him much pleasure.
Due to his amazing improvements, Sharon discussed with the Home Manager that she felt Toby might be ready to enjoy his first holiday. After many discussions with Toby, his family and the key workers at the home, as well as lots of research into finding something suitable, a holiday was booked for Toby to enjoy.
Toby went on a Canal Barge holiday along with 2 other service users and 3 staff, including his keyworker, Sharon. Sharon and the other staff members reported that Toby really enjoyed this experience. They saw him change daily and become more vocal, expressing himself in ways they had never seen before. He liked being on the Canal Boat, being out in the countryside, interacting and chatting with members of the public as well as going to the local pubs, shops and for walks.
Sharon reports: “Toby is developing into a very social young man and loves the outside now. It took a while to get him to where he is today, but it has been a joy to help him become the man he is today. I believe he will still continue to develop as time goes by.”
After the holiday, Toby’s family saw him at the Liaise summer BBQ we held in the local park for all service users and their families. They were amazed to see how settled he is with us and his mum felt she could see how he had grown and become more independent.
*Service user name has been changed