Billy is an Advance customer who lives in Bexley, and has had quite a journey to get where he is today. Now, Billy goes out to the cinema, to theme parks and for meals with support workers and relatives, and enjoys structured personalised support to help with his routines.
This wasn’t always what Billy’s life looked like, however, and when he first came to Advance he was experiencing a lot of anxiety. Billy struggled with his new environment, and would display challenging behaviour.
With the help of Ade, Billy’s keyworker, and the Complex Needs Team headed by Michelle O’Neill, staff were able to work with Billy to carefully monitor his behaviour and triggers, and develop clear structures to help with his anxiety around the changing of routines. In Billy’s flat, simple methods were introduced by staff using picture cards to show Billy what is happening ‘now’ and what is happening ‘next’. Simple images of the garden, local shops, travelling on the bus or going to a restaurant help Billy to understand and make choices about activities, and Billy has responded brilliantly to this system.
Billy’s behaviour and anxiety have improved significantly during his time with Advance, even so much that last year Billy had his first ever overnight stay when he travelled to Margate with Ade and fellow Support Worker, James.
Billy is now planning a two-day holiday. He will travel with Ade and another worker to stay on the Isle of Sheppey so he can be near to his Dad. If this trip goes well, longer trips will be planned for the future. It’s fantastic to hear positive stories like Billy’s, and is testament to the dedication and patience of our Advance staff, and our specialist Complex Needs team.