I’m Paul and I came to Enham Trust from Treloar College a year ago. I’m 22 and I have cerebral palsy.
I live in one of the Trust’s care homes, where I have my own bedsit – decorated in Southampton FC red and pictures of the Royal Family! I’m a big fan, and have invited William and Kate to visit Enham Trust. I got a lovely letter from them back in May!
Person Centered Planning
I’ve been working with Tom, my Person Centered Planning (PCP) Specialist, to figure out some of the things that are important to me, and what I’d like to do in my life – and we’ve been working on making them happen.
I decided I wanted some work experience, and I liked the idea of working for a charity, so Tom and I worked with Enham Trust’s Work Placement Co-ordinator, Chris Johnn, to set up a voluntary job with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. Prince William, who is going to pilot the East Anglia Air Ambulance, was my inspiration! I have a special uniform to wear, and I’ve been collecting money for the charity for about a month now, which I’m getting into.
Something else I wanted to do was go to college and continue my education. Tom has helped me enrol onto an English course at Andover College, which will start later in September. I’m really looking forward to this.
I’ve been getting out and about a lot too – I’ve been to CarFest South and to Olympic Park in London. I loved the noise of the cars at CarFest! I am part of the client design panel here at Enham and helped to pick the architect for the new housing project. We went to different projects some of the architects had worked on and one was the Olympic Park. I’ve really been enjoying the opportunities and experiences that have been opening up for me.
Greater Control and Independence
Something else that’s important to me is having fresh air in my flat, and I like to be able to control opening and closing my window myself. This might seem like a little, everyday thing, but it matters to me. When the air’s stale, I want to throw my window open. And when it’s cold or too breezy, I want to be able to close it – all without having to have someone else do it for me. I’d been trying to do this myself a few times, and kept getting my fingers trapped in the window mechanism. So Tom liaised with Enham Trust’s maintenance team and arranged for handyman Mark to spend an afternoon in my flat, creating an attachment for my window lever which means now, I can open and close it myself. It’s a simple thing, but it means a lot to me; I feel chuffed to bits, and love it that I can control this aspect of my environment myself now.
I know a lot of Makaton (a kind of sign language). I’m not always confident that others understand me when I speak, so Makaton is a real lifeline for me. When I first came to Enham Trust, the staff at Michael House weren’t aware of this, but now they know, and with Tom’s coordination, they’ve been spending time with me learning Makaton so we can all communicate better. I’m teaching them a thing or two! It feels empowering.
I like it here, but I don’t want to live in a care home forever. I’m working with Tom to make sure that through all the different things I do, I’m building my confidence and life skills, so that one day, I might be able to live in my own home. I’m making good progress – Tom’s been a huge help – and I’m happy.
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