“Darryl enjoys his food, so being able to call in on him and check he’s heating a healthy diet, helps me to stay connected to him.” says Darryl’s Mum, Tori who lives a short distance away from her son in Cornwall.
Growing up with autism Darryl struggled to express himself. His sister, Christine describes him as loving and caring but also acknowledges Darryl could get stressed when unable to understand situations. Mum, Tori confesses she often worried about what the future held for her son.
As Darryl grew up, Tori began to consider ways in which Darryl might begin to live as independently as possible. By working with social workers and the local council she was able to secure a tenancy for Darryl at a newly built Advance property within walking distance from her home.
Support for residents is split between Advance and another provider. Residents receive support hours based on their need. All residents have their own purpose-built flats. The building is light and modern. A communal lounge and staff office are on site. Advance Service Manager Daniel said “It’s important to have a rapport with the families of people who live here. We work with residents and families to ensure everyone feels listened to, goals can be worked towards and concerns addressed openly.”
Loving trains and machines, Darryl’s family worked with Advance staff to secure a voluntary job for him at the Mosely Museum, which specialises in mechanical toys, models and engineering. Darryl likes being part of a team and feels valued in his role there. As part of a summer exhibition at the museum, Darryl was invited to display some of the models he had built and talk to visitors about them.
Christine notes, “He is proud of his flat. I have seen Darryl grow in confidence enormously through the independence that having his own place has given him. He understands people more. Previously his anxiety would get on top of him in social situations, but we have seen such a change since he moved in. He has made friends with his neighbours and loves to show people around his home.”
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